PRECIOUS-Gold prices flat, U.S. stimulus concerns weigh

Sun Jan 6, 2013 7:56pm EST

SINGAPORE, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Gold traded flat on Monday, off
a more than four-month low hit in the previous session on
concerns over the outlook for the U.S. Federal Reserve's
monetary stimulus programme.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,656.09 an ounce
by 0038 GMT, after falling for two sessions straight and ending
last week little changed. It dropped to $1,625.79 on Friday, the
lowest since Aug. 21, 2012.
    * U.S. gold gained nearly half a percent to
$1,656.40.
    * The Fed could halt its asset purchases this year, two top
officials at the central bank suggested on Friday, a view also
gaining traction among economists at Wall Street's top financial
institutions. 
    * U.S. employers kept their pace of hiring steady in
December, falling short of the levels needed to bring down a
still lofty unemployment rate and pointing to lacklustre
economic growth in 2013. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers increased the size of their
net longs in gold futures and options in the week to Dec. 31,
ending two weeks of declines, Commodity Futures Trading
Commission data showed on Friday. 
    * Sales of U.S. American Eagle gold coins in 2012 were the
weakest in five years despite a strong finish, hurt by declining
price volatility, dealers said. 
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    MARKET NEWS
    * The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index ended at a
five-year high on Friday. 
    * The dollar hovered just below its highest in nearly two
and a half years against the yen on Monday. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 0930 Euro zone   Sentix index           January          
 1000 Euro zone   Producer price index   November
 1500 U.S.        Employment trend index December         
       
    PRICES
     Precious metals prices 0038 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1656.09   -0.36   -0.02     -1.10
  Spot Silver        30.15   -0.06   -0.20     -0.43
  Spot Platinum    1558.25    6.15   +0.40      1.51
  Spot Palladium    687.25    4.45   +0.65     -0.69
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1656.40    7.50   +0.45     -1.16         4883
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.18    0.23   +0.78     -0.17         1718
  Euro/Dollar       1.3054
  Dollar/Yen         88.07
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months 
 
    

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)