PRECIOUS-Gold trades just below $1,600; China PMI eyed
SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed below $1,600 an ounce on Monday as the euro weakened on persistent worries about ripples from the debt crisis in Cyprus, while safe-haven buying has remained passive despite ongoing tension in the Korean Peninsula. Investors were awaiting the release of China's official manufacturing PMI. Factory activity index for March is forecast to hit an 11-month high, which could fuel a strong second-quarter start for industrial commodities after most fell in the first three months. FUNDAMENTALS * Gold was steady at $1,598.00 an ounce by 0030 GMT, having ended the quarter down around 4 percent after stock markets surged and the euro stayed weak against the dollar. * U.S. gold was at $1,598.80 an ounce, up $3.10. * Major depositors in Cyprus's biggest bank will lose around 60 percent of savings over 100,000 euros, its central bank confirmed on Saturday, sharpening the terms of a bailout that has shaken European banks but saved the island from bankruptcy. * The United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea on Sunday to join military drills aimed at underscoring the U.S. commitment to defend Seoul in the face of an intensifying campaign of threats from North Korea. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or MARKET NEWS * Asian shares were steady on Monday but trading remained subdued with some Asian markets, including Australia and Hong Kong, and Europe still closed for Easter holidays. * The euro hovered near a four-month lows on worries that losses suffered by Cypriot depositors may unnerve investors in other euro zone debt and on Italian political woes, but market participants also said the single currency seems to have found a bottom for now. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0100 China Official manufacturing PMI 0145 China HSBC final manufacturing PMI 1400 U.S. Construction spending 1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing index <USPMI=ECI PRICES Precious metals prices 0030 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1598.00 1.83 +0.11 -4.57 Spot Silver 28.26 -0.06 -0.21 -6.67 Spot Platinum 1575.24 9.74 +0.62 2.62 Spot Palladium 768.72 -0.78 -0.10 11.09 COMEX GOLD JUN3 1598.80 3.10 +0.19 -4.59 4129 COMEX SILVER MAY3 28.26 -0.07 -0.24 -6.53 1240 Euro/Dollar 1.2795 Dollar/Yen 94.32 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Ed Davies)
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