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PRECIOUS-Gold holds below $1,200 on Swiss poll, Fed minutes
November 20, 2014 / 4:17 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds below $1,200 on Swiss poll, Fed minutes

* Spot gold slips after 1 pct drop overnight
    * Platinum briefly dips to discount to gold
    * Coming up: euro zone, U.S. Markit flash manufacturing PMI

 (Updates prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Gold struggled to recover from
overnight losses on Thursday as the Federal Reserve's optimism
over the U.S. economy boosted the dollar, and a poll showed
softer support for a Swiss referendum that would have forced the
central bank to boost its gold reserves.
    An opinion poll showed on Wednesday that support among Swiss
voters for the "Save our Swiss gold" proposal had slipped to 38
percent, down from 44 percent in a survey conducted last month. 
    Under the proposal, the Swiss National Bank would be banned
from selling any of its gold reserves and would have to hold at
least 20 percent of its assets in the metal, compared with 7.8
percent last month. The central bank purchases could have
boosted gold prices. 
    "The Swiss vote was the only bright spot for gold in recent
weeks and expectations had been building up," said a precious
metals trader. "This new poll shows that the possibility of this
proposal passing is getting slimmer."
    Spot gold was little changed at $1,183.80 an ounce by
0731 GMT, after dropping 1.2 percent in the previous session.
    U.S. gold futures fell as much as 1.5 percent to
$1,176.20 before recovering slightly. 
    Bullion also came under pressure after the minutes of the
Fed's October policy meeting showed policymakers were concerned
about weakening inflation pressure, dampening the metal's appeal
as a hedge, and were confident about the U.S. economy.
    Gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation and sluggish
economy, but recent strong data has dulled its appeal.
    Selling by gold funds resumed after a brief pause this week.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3 percent to
720.91 tonnes on Wednesday - close to a six-year low. 
    Among other precious metals, platinum briefly slipped
into a discount to gold before recovering to trade at a premium
of about $5 an ounce.
    "Platinum historically trades at a premium to gold and a
push towards a discount would be highly unusual," HSBC analysts
said in a note. 
    "While platinum prices may be held hostage to gold's
negative performance, we remain bullish on platinum and
palladium on expectations that the market will remain in a
supply and demand deficit this year and the next."

    PRICES AT 0731 GMT    
 Metal           Last     Change  Pct chg
 Spot gold        1183.8    0.97     0.08
 Spot silver       16.09   -0.01    -0.06
 Spot platinum   1188.49    4.99     0.42
 Spot palladium      762     1.5      0.2
 Comex gold       1183.5   -10.4    -0.87
 Comex silver     16.105  -0.189    -1.16
 Euro             1.2531                 
 DXY              87.841                 
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Prateek Chatterjee)

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