PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains on ECB rate cut hopes

Thu Dec 6, 2012 7:45pm EST

SINGAPORE, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Gold nudged higher on Friday,
extending gains from the previous session when bullion was
boosted by prospects of future interest cuts by the European
Central Bank, but the precious metal was headed for its second
straight week of decline.  
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,701.56 an
ounce by 0029 GMT, on course for a 0.8-percent loss for the week
in its second weekly drop.
    * U.S. gold was little changed at $1,701.20.
    * The euro zone economy is likely to further shrink in 2013,
the European Central Bank predicted on Thursday, sharply
downgrading its outlook after holding interest rates at a record
low 0.75 percent. Expectations are building for the ECB to cut
rates in face of another contraction in the economy.
 
    * The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits last week fell back to the pre-superstorm Sandy range,
suggesting a return to modest job growth after a storm-related
set back. 
    * Investors are waiting for the key monthly U.S. non-farm
payrolls data, due at 1330 GMT, which is likely to show a sharp
drop in job growth in November as superstorm Sandy disrupted
economic activity. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady
at 7.9 percent. 
    * With little to show after a month of posturing, the White
House and Republicans in Congress dropped hints on Thursday that
they had resumed low-level private talks on breaking the
stalemate over the "fiscal cliff" but refused to divulge
details. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday, a day
ahead of the key monthly jobs report, as a rebound in shares of
Apple helped boost technology shares. 
    * The euro languished at one-week lows against the greenback
on Friday, having suffered a major setback after the European
Central Bank painted a bleak outlook for the euro zone and
discussed cutting interest rates. 
      
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 1100 Germany  Industrial output            Oct                
 1330 U.S.     Employment report            Nov                
 1455 U.S.     TR/Univ of Michigan consumer sentiment          
 1930 U.S.     CFTC commitment of traders data                 
 2000 U.S.     Consumer credit              Oct               
 
    
    PRICES

    Precious metals prices 0029 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1701.56    2.94   +0.17      8.81
  Spot Silver        33.01    0.03   +0.09     19.21
  Spot Platinum    1594.50    2.00   +0.13     14.47
  Spot Palladium    689.30   -0.70   -0.10      5.64
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1701.20   -0.60   -0.04      8.58         1704
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  33.09   -0.03   -0.09     18.52          355
  Euro/Dollar       1.2962
  Dollar/Yen         82.43
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months 
 

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Davies)
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