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PRECIOUS-Gold flat, volume low; investors wonder about central banks
August 7, 2012 / 9:53 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat, volume low; investors wonder about central banks

* Gold flat as investors unsure about Fed, ECB
    * U.S. gold volume low for a second day
    * Indian physical demand stays weak

 (Adds details, updates market activity)
    By Frank Tang
    NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Gold was nearly flat on Tuesday,
with volume much lighter than average for a second consecutive
day as investors were uncertain about whether central banks
would act to stimulate sputtering economies.
    The metal traded in a tight range of less than $10 an ounce,
swinging between slight gains and losses, as higher U.S.
equities, crude oil and the euro failed to attract much buying
or selling of the precious metal.
    Volume in U.S. gold futures hovered near a fresh 2012 low.
Traders said last week's mixed U.S. nonfarm payrolls report fed
uncertainty about whether the Federal Reserve will come through
with more gold-friendly monetary stimulus, or whether the
central bank would refrain from action, which could spur
    "Nobody really wants to step in front of the market and be a
seller yet as the Fed seemingly just kicks the QE can down the
road," David Meger, director of metals trading at futures
brokerage Vision Financial Markets.
    "We still haven't received the positive news that everybody
believed we would see at some point down the road. That's why we
are in this no man's land," he said.  
    Bullion largely ignored comments from Boston Fed Bank
President Eric Rosengren that the Fed should launch another bond
buying program of whatever size and duration is necessary to get
the economy back on its feet. 
    Spot gold inched down 15 cents at $1,610.24 an ounce
by 2:46 p.m. EDT (1846 GMT).
    U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled
 down $3.40 an ounce at $1,612.80, with volume at below 80,000
lots, about half of its 30-day average at about 170,000 lots,
preliminary Reuters showed.
    Trading interest has been muted this week. On Monday, U.S.
gold futures' volume fell to a 2012 low at 86,532 lots, CME data
    Gold bulls hope the Fed will launch a third round of
quantitative easing, or QE, in which the central bank prints
money to buy U.S. government debt to lower interest rates and
boost the economy. This could pressure the dollar and stoke
inflation fears, which generally encourages gold buying.
    Last week, gold prices fell on disappointment that the Fed
did not give any clear clues on the timing of QE and that
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi did not unveil
another round of bond-buying in the euro zone.
    Gold demand in major consumer India was sluggish ahead of a
period of Hindu festivals and its wedding season, traditionally
a major gold-buying event which begins this month and runs
through until November, dealers said. 
    Holdings of gold exchange-traded funds climbed on Monday,
with Reuters data covering a range of products 
showing inflows of 6.9 tonnes. That was their biggest
one-day inflow in ounce terms since March 1, with the bulk of
new flows seen into Europe-based gold ETF products.
    Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.9
percent to $28.12 an ounce. Spot platinum rose 0.7
percent at $1,405.74 an ounce and spot palladium was up
1.6 percent at $584.25 an ounce.
 2:46 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold DEC   1612.80  -3.40  -0.2  1611.00 1621.30   71,943
 US Silver SEP  28.086  0.223   0.8   27.735  28.180   26,576
 US Plat OCT   1410.40   8.50   0.6  1400.00 1414.40    4,980
 US Pall SEP    588.20   8.65   1.5   578.25  588.95    3,241
 Gold          1610.24  -0.15   0.0  1609.58 1617.91         
 Silver         28.120  0.260   0.9   27.810  28.230
 Platinum      1405.74  10.34   0.7  1402.30 1411.00
 Palladium      584.25   9.45   1.6   579.20  587.00
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold         77,480   169,171   192,054     17.36    0.21
 US Silver       34,023    48,643    57,207      25.4    0.44
 US Platinum      5,136     9,123     8,978        23    0.00
 US Palladium     4,607     2,898     4,342                  
 (Addtional reporting by Jan Harvey in London; Editing by David
Gregorio and Marguerita Choy)

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