PRECIOUS-Gold trades just below $1,600; China PMI eyed

Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:47pm EDT

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.
 
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    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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