PRECIOUS-Gold holds slight gains, but firm U.S. dollar weighs

Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:50am EDT

* Spot gold signals mixed -technicals 
    * Coming Up: U.S. personal income Sept; 1230 GMT

 (Updates prices)
    By Lewa Pardomuan
    SINGAPORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Monday after
robust U.S. economic data lifted prices in the previous session,
but gains could be capped by a firmer U.S. dollar, as well as
lingering concerns about Greece's debt woes and a possible
bailout for Spain.
    Gold got a slight boost on Friday after data showed U.S.
economic growth had picked up in the third quarter as a late
burst in consumer spending offset the first cutbacks in
investment in more than a year. 
    Investors are now waiting for the U.S. payrolls report on
Friday, which could set the tone for bullion after hedge funds
and money managers slashed their bullish bets in gold and silver
on concerns over the future of the U.S. Federal Reserve's
monetary stimulus. 
    Gold climbed $4.24 an ounce to $1,715.00, well below
an 11-month high of above $1,795 an ounce hit in early October
and an all-time high of around $1,920 struck in September last
year. 
    "Coming up, investors will eye the non-farm payrolls and the
U.S election in less than 10 days. These are likely factors that
will affect gold. From now till then, gold will probably be
pretty flat," said Lynette Tan, senior investment analyst at
Phillip Futures in Singapore.
    "I am looking at the support level of about $1,680. Going
forward, non-farm payrolls are probably either similar to the
last one, or a further improvement. This will probably put some
pressure on gold. Resistance will be $1,750."
    U.S. gold for December added $3.80 an ounce to
$1,715.70.      
    The October payrolls data could also give a bit of a lift to
President Barack Obama, should it come out better than
anticipated, or help Republican candidate Mitt Romney if it is
worse than forecast.  
    
    
    Gold is on track to decline in October for the first month
in five after failing to break the psychological level of $1,800
and the excitement ignited by the Fed's latest programme of
purchasing mortgage-backed debt subsided.
    Its fall has also been driven by uncertainty related to the
so-called "fiscal cliff" or automatic spending cuts and tax
rises which threaten to send the United States back into
recession if Congress fails to reach a deficit reduction deal by
the end of the year.
    "This will further slowdown the economy if nothing is done
to reduce spending. If the tax-reliefs expire and automatic
spending cuts kick in, we are likely to see increased demand for
gold as a safe-haven bet," said Tan at Phillip Futures.
    "However, due to the election, either Obama or Romney will
probably try to hold off the 'fiscal cliff' by arguing the need
for the economy to be on a stronger recovery mode. So if some
measures are put in place to postpone the arrival of these
tightening measures, we could see some downside to gold again."
    In other markets, the euro inched down on Monday,
waiting for bailout prospects for struggling Spain and Greece to
become clear. 
    Shares in Asia slipped as investors switched their focus
away from signs of stable U.S. growth, looking instead at tepid
global corporate earnings and the uncertain economic outlook.
 
     The physical gold market waited for main consumer India to
return to buy more bullion ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival
of lights, next month.
    The festival season, traditionally a time to buy gold, is
underway in India and will peak with Dhanteras and Diwali next
month. Weddings also take place during this period. 
    "Yes, there's buying interest from India. I've seen them
buying more gold from Dubai and also the local market," said a
physical dealer in Singapore. 
       
  Precious metals prices 0632 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1715.00    4.24   +0.25      9.67
  Spot Silver        32.05    0.06   +0.19     15.75
  Spot Platinum    1553.00  -17.00   -1.08     11.49
  Spot Palladium    598.50   -0.50   -0.08     -8.28
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1715.70    3.80   +0.22      9.50        12405
  COMEX SILVER DEC2  32.09    0.05   +0.17     14.96         3512
  Euro/Dollar       1.2918
  Dollar/Yen         79.71
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 

 (Editing by Miral Fahmy and Joseph Radford)