PRECIOUS-Gold rises as ECB comment boosts easing hopes

Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:41pm EDT

* ECB's Draghi comment to rescue euro zone underpins
    * Gold briefly above 100 DMA, seen near inflection point
    * SPDR Gold Trust posts outflow
    * Coming up: U.S. Q2 GDP report Friday

 (Adds details, updates market activity)
    By Frank Tang
    NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - Gold rose for a third session
on Thursday, boosted by hopes of more monetary easing after
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to do
whatever was necessary to protect the euro zone from collapse.
    The precious metal broke above its 100-day moving average
for the first time since May 1. Options-related buying also
helped boost underlying gold futures as COMEX August options
have expired at Thursday's market close.
     Bullion climbed nearly 1 percent, lifted by a rally on Wall
Street after Draghi's remarks reassured
investors, who already expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to
explore new tools to boost the sluggish economy.
    "Fundamentally, gold is definitely improved big time this
morning because of comments by Draghi to save the euro, which
basically means he's going to print money," said Adam Sarhan,
chief executive of Sarhan Capital. "If he prints money, that
means gold is going higher."
    "Right now gold is testing resistance. If we can break above
it, we will get another leg higher," said Sarhan. He added that
gold is approaching a key inflection point at $1,660 an ounce
based on a downward-sloping curve connecting recent highs on
weekly charts.
    Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,615.44 an ounce by
3:13 p.m. (1913 GMT), having earlier reached a three-week high
at $1,621.41.
    U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled up $7
an ounce at $1,615.10, with trading volume more than 50 percent
above its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. The
higher-than-usual volume was partly skewed by option expiration.
    On charts, gold's second days of sharp gains helped it get
closer to breaking above a broad trading range in the past three
months.
    CitiFX strategists said in a note gold is underpinned by a
bullish double-bottom pattern and its next target is near $1,800
an ounce after clearing good resistance at $1,688 an ounce.
    Sharper appetite for risk and a one-percent loss in the
dollar versus the euro as a result of the Draghi comments also
boosted buying of U.S. equities and other commodities, and that
underpinned gold. The S&P 500 index rose about 1.5
percent.

    SPDR GOLD ETF POSTS OUTFLOW
    HSBC analyst James Steel said that gold investors are now
looking ahead to Friday's second-quarter U.S. GDP data. Gold may
take its next cue based on expectations of Fed stimulus and
movements in the U.S. dollar and equities markets after the
economic indicator.
    However, bullion's demand from the investment and physical
sectors continued to remain weak. Gold buying from India, one of
the top bullion consumers, was still soft as a near-record low
rupee curb buying due to the high price of gold in rupees.
    The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund SPDR
Gold Trust reported a 2.1 tonne outflow on Wednesday. The
fund saw its biggest weekly outflow of physical metal this year
last week. 
    Silver climbed 0.7 percent to $27.50 an ounce, while
platinum was up 0.8 percent at $1,402.74 an ounce and
spot palladium rose 0.7 percent to $565.99 an ounce.
    
 3:13 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold AUG   1615.10   7.00   0.4  1600.20 1621.50  166,685
 US Silver SEP  27.446 -0.020  -0.1   27.210  27.780   39,484
 US Plat OCT   1405.60   6.20   0.4  1396.20 1415.60    6,148
 US Pall SEP    569.90   4.65   0.8   564.40  574.00    1,911
                                                               
 Gold          1615.44  11.56   0.7  1601.75 1621.41         
 Silver         27.500  0.180   0.7   27.270  27.810
 Platinum      1402.74  11.09   0.8  1399.10 1410.99
 Palladium      565.99   3.99   0.7   566.58  571.75
                                                               
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        235,501   155,221   191,893     19.62   -0.07
 US Silver       42,770    52,411    56,147      31.3   -0.59
 US Platinum      6,293    10,548     9,188        23    0.00
 US Palladium     1,997     3,196     4,486                  
                                                               
 
 (Additional reporting by Jan Harvey in London; Editing by
Andrew Hay and David Gregorio)
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