PRECIOUS-Gold regains strength on bargain hunting,silver steadies

Fri May 20, 2011 2:16am EDT

 * Gold targets $1,516.40 -technicals [ID:nL4E7GK04A]
 * Coming Up: U.S. ECRI Index Weekly; 1430 GMT

 (Updates prices)	
 By Lewa Pardomuan	
 SINGAPORE, May 20 (Reuters) - Gold bounced on Friday as bargain hunters
resurfaced after prices slipped in the previous session, while silver could be
struggling to sustain early gains following a drop in exchange-traded fund
holdings.	
  Bullion has fallen about 5 percent since rallying to a lifetime high around
$1,575 an ounce in early May, but expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will 
keep monetary policy ultra-loose for a while longer following the release of
weak economic data could polish up gold's safe haven appeal.	
 Spot gold added $5.76 an ounce to $1,497.36 by 0603 GMT. Silver
 barely moved, standing at 35.19 an ounce -- well below a record at $49.51
an ounce in April. 	
 "The long-term uptrend for gold is still intact. If gold moves above the
resistance of $1,500, then I think it could go higher. As the commodity markets
start to stabilise, investment demand for silver could return. It has a strong
positive correlation to gold and is a cheaper alternative," said Ong Yi Ling,
investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.	
 "I think, short-term, silver is still bearish." 	
 Holdings in the world's largest silver-backed exchange-traded fund, iShares
Silver Trust , fell to 10,203.73 tonnes by May 19, from 10,446.43 tonnes on
May 18. [ID:nL4E7GK03B]
	
 	
 
 The dollar looked set to post its first weekly loss in three weeks as
investors increased bets on risky assets like equities on expectations the
United States would take a long time to raise interest rates after posting weak
economic data. 	
 Data showing a slowdown in manufacturing growth in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic
region and an unexpected dip in existing home sales in April cemented views that
if economic data continues to disappoint it could push out Fed action until well
into 2012 or perhaps even later. [ID:nN19134058]  	
 In the physical market, dealers noted buying from speculators and jewellers,
although the volume had declined somewhat. Premiums for gold bars were steady at	
80 cents to spot London prices in Singapore, but there were also offers at $1 an
ounce. 	
 "In all, it says buckle your seat and we will be in for a roller coaster
ride, either up or down. Silver has come to a standstill. That's a pity, but
allows time for us to focus on gold," said a physical dealer in Singapore. 	
 "I heard there's not much movement in Hong Kong and there isn't gold scrap
flowing through there. Basically, the Hong Kong supplies are one-way traffic
into China and there's limited selling out."	
 U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose $4.9 an ounce to $1,497.3 an
ounce. 	
 Investors forsook gold exchange traded funds in the first quarter in favour
of coins and bars, the World Gold Council said, with buying of physical
investment products helping lift overall bullion demand by 11 percent.
[ID:nLDE74H1FE]	
   	
 Precious metals prices 0603 GMT
 Metal             Last    Change   Pct chg  YTD pct chg  Turnover
 Spot Gold        1497.36    5.76    +0.39      5.49
 Spot Silver        35.19    0.24    +0.69     14.03
 Spot Platinum    1765.99    3.49    +0.20     -0.09
 Spot Palladium    723.75   -0.25    -0.03     -9.47
 TOCOM Gold       3945.00   13.00    +0.33      5.79        37918
 TOCOM Platinum   4702.00  -11.00    -0.23      0.13        10583
 TOCOM Silver       92.40    0.50    +0.54     14.07         1198
 TOCOM Palladium  1918.00   -9.00    -0.47     -8.54          302
 Euro/Dollar       1.4322
 Dollar/Yen         81.73
 
 TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce.
  	
 (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)	
 	
 	
 	
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