PRECIOUS-Gold falls to 1-month low on weak physical demand

Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:56pm EST

* Several major Asian markets shut for Lunar New Year
    * Technical selling accelerates below $1,650 an ounce
    * Coming up: U.S. redbook retail sales data Tuesday

 (New updates throughout, adds NEW YORK to dateline, second
byline)
    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Gold fell to a one-month
low on Monday, hit by technical selling after prices slid
through support at $1,650 an ounce, and as investment appetite
for physical metal dropped.
    Analysts said downward moves were exaggerated due to low
liquidity, as China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and
other Asian markets were closed this week for Lunar New Year.
    "Until physical bullion buyers resurface, we see gold as
likely to face further near-term pressure," said HSBC metals
analyst James Steel.
    Spot gold fell as much as 1.4 percent to $1,643.24 an
ounce, its lowest since Jan. 7. Selling accelerated as the metal
broke below its late January low of $1,651.93, traders said. 
    Bullion was down 1.1 percent at $1,647.80 an ounce by 4:18
p.m. EST (2118 GMT). 
    U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled down
$17.80 at $1,649.10 an ounce, with trading volume about 5
percent above its 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data
showed.
    Weaker Brent crude futures and copper market amid renewed
economic worries also weighed down on the metal's
inflation-hedge appeal, traders said.
    SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, showed a 1.2-tonne outflow in holdings so
far in February, compared to inflows of 6.05 tonnes in the same
2012-period.
    Silver was down 1.3 percent at $30.99 an ounce.
    
    G20 MEETING IN FOCUS
    Markets will be on watch for any discussion on the strength
of the euro ahead of the G20 meeting at the end of the week.
    Two G20 officials said separately that the Group of Seven
nations are considering issuing a statement reaffirming their
commitment to "market-determined" exchange rates in response to
heating rhetoric about a currency war. 
    Among other precious metals, platinum was down 1.4
percent to $1,689 an ounce, well below last week's high of 
$1,740 an ounce.
    Palladium edged up 0.5 percent to $755.97 an ounce. 
    Year to date, platinum group metals have outperformed gold
and silver on a combination of supply signs of improved global
economy, which bode well for the metals' industrial demand.

 4:18 PM EST     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold APR   1649.10 -17.80  -1.1  1644.10 1670.30  148,778
 US Silver MAR   30.91 -0.531  -1.7   30.820  31.535   34,572
 US Plat APR   1696.10 -18.60  -1.1  1685.50 1720.00   10,794
 US Pall MAR    758.60   7.10   0.9   744.00  761.85    4,757
                                                               
 Gold          1647.80 -19.09  -1.1  1644.15 1669.31         
 Silver         30.990 -0.400  -1.3   30.840  31.510
 Platinum      1689.00 -24.00  -1.4  1689.75 1716.50
 Palladium      755.97   3.47   0.5   746.50  759.47
                                                               
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        182,069   180,140   172,544     14.08    0.66
 US Silver       39,672    45,814    51,737     19.73   -0.94
 US Platinum     11,117    17,112    11,057     15.74   -1.47
 US Palladium     5,631     4,746     4,761                  
                                                               
 
 (Editing by David Gregorio)
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