PRECIOUS-Gold stays put as upbeat U.S. data offsets Europe worries
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. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or 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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