RPT-PRECIOUS-Gold inches up to around $950/oz, lifted by oil
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* Lack of fresh gold factors confines price to range
* SPDR Gold holdings steady XAUEXT-NYS-TT
By Miho Yoshikawa
TOKYO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday to trade around $950 per ounce on strong oil prices, which fanned worries about inflation, while platinum eased a touch in defiance of news of a mine strike in South Africa.
Bullion, which has has been trading in a narrow range of around $940-$955 this week, was down about 0.4 percent from the end of last week.
"It is confined within ranges ... being bought on inflation concerns and sold when there are no fresh factors," said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Co Ltd.
Strong oil prices typically boost gold, which is widely seen as an inflation hedge.
Saito said the dollar's weakness versus the euro was also providing support, although gold's reaction to the currency market during Asian business hours appeared to have dulled somewhat this week.
Gold XAU= was at $949.65 per ounce at 0537 GMT, up 0.3 percent from the New York notional close of $946.75.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery GCZ9 were at $951.30, up 0.4 percent.
U.S. crude oil CLc1 extended gains towards $73 a barrel on Friday helped by a late rebound on Wall Street and a weaker dollar. It remains close to the 10-month high of $75 touched this week. [O/R]
The dollar remained on the defensive on Friday after being aggressively sold off in the previous session. [USD/]
Interest in gold-backed exchange-traded funds remained lacklustre.
The world's largest gold-backed ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), said holdings stood at 1,061.83 tonnes as of Aug. 27, unchanged from the previous business day. [GOL/SPDR]
Saito said gold lacked fresh factors distinct to the metal, which was one reason why traders were eagerly awaiting the release of August gold import data from India, a large consumer of the precious metal.
"Some traders are hoping this will show strong figures," he said.
Indian gold traders were looking for bargains in the gold market this week in anticipation of festival demand. [ID:nBOM460916]
Firm gold prices and the economic slump have caused India's imports for the first half of the calendar year to decline 54 percent.
In other metals, the world's largest silver-backed exchange-traded fund, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), said its bullion holdings as of Aug. 27 fell 82.6 tonnes or 0.9 percent from the previous business day to 8,742.07 tonnes. [ID:nT282179]
Platinum inched down after rising in the previous session on news that South Africa's Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J) said it could sack thousands of striking workers in a wage dispute that threatened to spread further.
The world's No.2 platinum miner said it would not agree to union demands for a 14 percent pay rise.
Platinum XPT= was at $1,235.50 per ounce, down from $1,240.50.
Precious metals prices at 0545 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Turnover Spot Gold 949.60 2.85 +0.30 7.89 Spot Silver 14.36 0.12 +0.84 26.86 Spot Platinum 1235.50 -5.00 -0.40 32.56 Spot Palladium 284.50 0.50 +0.18 54.20 TOCOM Gold 2872.00 13.00 +0.45 11.62 26236 TOCOM Platinum 3741.00 22.00 +0.59 41.06 9723 TOCOM Silver 433.50 6.70 +1.57 35.77 134 TOCOM Palladium 867.00 7.00 +0.81 57.64 355 Euro/Dollar 1.4362 Dollar/Yen 93.73 TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except TOCOM silver which is priced in yen per 10 grams. Spot prices in $ per ounce. (Additional reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Michael Watson)
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