PRECIOUS-Gold steady above $1,640; China data eyed

Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:32pm EDT

SINGAPORE, April 23 (Reuters) - Gold hovered near $1,640 an
ounce on Monday, after dropping 1 percent in the previous week,
as investors waited for data on China's manufacturing activities
which may help set the tone for financial markets.	
    	
    FUNDAMENTALS	
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,641.40 an ounce
by 0023 GMT.	
    * U.S. gold traded nearly flat at $1,642.50.	
    * Investors will closely watch the flash China HSBC
manufacturing survey at 0230 GMT to gauge the conditions of the
world's second-largest economy. 	
    * Leading world economies agreed to more than double the
lending power of the International Monetary Fund in a bid to
protect the global economy from the euro zone debt crisis.
 	
    * Meanwhile, global finance chiefs pressed Europe in weekend
talks to quickly put in place the economic reforms needed to
finally solve its debt crisis now that newly increased financial
buffers have bought some precious time. 	
    * The Netherlands, a core euro zone member, was drawn into
Europe's debt crisis at the weekend when the government failed
to agree on budget cuts, making elections almost unavoidable and
casting doubt on its support for future euro zone measures.
 	
    * Money managers raised their net long positions in U.S.
gold futures and options in the week ended April 17, but cut
their net long bets in silver, said the U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission. 	
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS	
    * The euro retreated from two-week highs against the dollar
on Monday, pausing after its best weekly performance since
February, while sterling clung on to its newfound
market-darling-status in the wake of upbeat UK retail sales
data. 	
    * U.S. stocks mostly rose on Friday, led by solid earnings
from McDonald's, General Electric and Microsoft, but declines in
banks and technology shares pulled indexes from their day's
highs.  	
   	
    DATA/EVENTS	
 0230  China     Markit Mfg Flash PMI     Apr                      
 0658  France    Markit Mfg Flash PMI     Apr                      
 0728  Germany   Markit Mfg Flash PMI     Apr                      
 0758  EZ        Markit Mfg flash PMI     Apr                      
    	
    PRICES	
     Precious metals prices 0023 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1641.40   -0.47   -0.03      4.96
  Spot Silver        31.61   -0.05   -0.16     14.16
  Spot Platinum    1576.00    2.45   +0.16     13.14
  Spot Palladium    674.22    2.82   +0.42      3.33
  COMEX GOLD JUN2  1642.50   -0.30   -0.02      4.83         1339
  COMEX SILVER MAY2  31.60   -0.05   -0.16     13.20          445
  Euro/Dollar       1.3204
  Dollar/Yen         81.56
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 	
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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