PRECIOUS-Gold bounces off 6-month low; China reopens

Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:56pm EST

SINGAPORE, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Gold rebounded from a
six-month low on Monday as bargain hunters resurfaced, and
dealers expected buying from jewellers in Asia to pick up as
markets reopen in China after the Lunar New Year holiday.
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Gold rose $6.05 an ounce to $1,615.11 by 0034 GMT 
after falling to around $1,598 on Friday, its weakest since
August, on a rising U.S. dollar and technical selling. It 
marked gold's biggest one-day drop since December.
    * U.S. gold for April delivery was at $1,615.20 an
ounce, up $5.70   
    * Hedge funds and some big speculators slashed their bullish
bets on U.S. commodities, taking aim particularly at gold which
has lost some of its lustre this year, trade data released on
Friday showed. 
    * A raft of business surveys this week will be combed over
for confirmation of hopes that a dire fourth quarter of 2012
marked the cyclical trough for the world economy.
 
    * Major powers plan to offer to ease sanctions barring trade
in gold and other precious metals with Iran in return for
Iranian steps to shut down the nation's newly expanded Fordow
uranium enrichment plant, Western officials said on Friday.
 
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Japanese shares rallied and the yen fell on Monday after
Tokyo escaped direct criticism from its G20 peers on its
aggressive reflationary plans that have weakened the currency.
  
       
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    - 0900 Euro zone current account     
    - 0900 Euro zone Net investment flow 
    - 1430 ECB President Mario Draghi testifies at 
           European Parliament    
       
    PRICES
    
  Precious metals prices 0034 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1615.11    6.05   +0.38     -3.55
  Spot Silver        29.98    0.23   +0.77     -0.99
  Spot Platinum    1686.74    9.24   +0.55      9.89
  Spot Palladium    759.60    6.13   +0.81      9.77
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1615.20    5.70   +0.35     -3.62         5159
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  29.97    0.12   +0.41     -0.86         3319
  Euro/Dollar       1.3344
  Dollar/Yen         93.79
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Muralikumar
Anantharaman)
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