PRECIOUS-Gold stays put as upbeat U.S. data offsets Europe worries

Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:28pm EDT

SINGAPORE, March 27 (Reuters) - Gold hovered around $1,600
an ounce on Wednesday, as upbeat U.S. data curbed safe-haven
demand while worries about the euro zone's fiscal health
continued to support prices after Cyprus's unprecedented rescue
scheme.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold had risen $1.23 to $1,599.82 an ounce by
0010 GMT, after declining for three sessions.
    * U.S. gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,599.10.
    * Orders for long-lasting U.S.-made goods surged last month
and home prices posted their biggest year-on-year gain in six
and a half years in January, the latest signs the U.S. economy
regained momentum early in the first quarter. 
    * Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowered its 2013 forecast
for gold to $1,670 an ounce from $1,680, a second cut in
forecast this month. The bank was long on platinum and palladium
in the medium term, expecting shortages for both metals this
year. 
    * Cyprus is expected to complete capital control measures on
Wednesday to prevent a run on the banks by depositors anxious
about their savings after the country agreed a painful rescue
package with international lenders. 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,221.260
tonnes for the third session on March 26.
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    MARKET NEWS
    * The euro languished near a four-month low against the
dollar on Wednesday on lingering fears that Cyprus's rescue plan
would set a precedent for other troubled euro zone economies.
 
    * U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, with the Dow climbing more
than 100 points to another record close and the S&P 500 coming
within striking distance of its all-time closing high, as the
strong data fed optimism about the economy. 
    * U.S. government debt prices rose in light, choppy trading
on Tuesday as the worries about Cyprus persisted, providing the
market with a safety bid that overshadowed improving economic
data.    
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0700 Germany    GfK consumer sentiment                          
 0700 Germany    Import prices                                   
 0900 Italy      Industrial orders                               
 1000 Euro zone  Business climate                                
 1000 Euro zone  Economic sentiment                              
 1400 U.S.       Pending home sales                             
 
    
    PRICES 
   
 Precious metals prices 0010 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1599.82    1.23   +0.08     -4.46
  Spot Silver        28.77    0.06   +0.21     -4.99
  Spot Platinum    1568.75   -5.75   -0.37      2.20
  Spot Palladium    761.47    0.97   +0.13     10.04
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1599.10    3.40   +0.21     -4.58         1165
  COMEX SILVER MAY3  28.75    0.07   +0.23     -4.91          412
  Euro/Dollar       1.2865
  Dollar/Yen         94.55
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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