PRECIOUS-Gold slips as fund shift seen intact, TOCOM jumps on yen
* Spot gold drop follows biggest daily rise in 5 months * Tokyo gold jumps nearly 5 pct, BOJ bond plan hits yen * Coming up: German industrial output at 1000 GMT (Adds comment, updates prices) By Manolo Serapio Jr SINGAPORE, April 8 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower on Monday after rising by the most since November in the previous session on poor U.S. jobs data, with funds expected to continue cutting bullion holdings for better investment yields elsewhere. But gold futures in Tokyo jumped almost 5 percent to near all time-highs, marking their sharpest daily rise since September 2011, after the yen dropped to near four-year lows on reports the Bank of Japan would begin buying longer-dated bonds immediately to beat deflation. Spot gold had dropped 0.2 percent to $1,578.94 an ounce by 0642 GMT, also hurt by a firmer dollar versus a basket of currencies. Gold climbed nearly 2 percent on Friday after data showed U.S. employers hired at the slowest pace in nine months in March, backing expectations the Federal Reserve would sustain its bullion-boosting monetary stimulus programme. But Monday's price drop shows the fund shift out of gold remains intact with the U.S. economy generally expected to perform better in the longer term, said Joyce Liu, investment analyst at Phillip Futures. "People are really pulling funds out of gold for better investments such as equities and real estate in emerging economies," said Liu. "The kind of rally that we saw from 2009 to 2011 is no longer going to be there anymore. We are more or less used to having so much money flowing around in the economy." Liu said she sees gold testing a support level of $1,530, possibly over the next two weeks. Gold hit a 10-month low of around $1,539 last week and is down nearly 6 percent this year. In contrast, the S&P 500 stock index has gained almost 9 percent. ETF OUTFLOWS Others are more bearish on gold's prospects. "The lack of investment interest is currently a key drag on the market," Credit Suisse analysts said in a note. "With technical momentum turning negative, there is a risk for a shift lower towards $1,520 and ultimately $1,500, which is a critical technical area that needs to hold for the sideways trend to remain intact." U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,579.10 an ounce. Bullion holdings at the world's major gold exchange traded funds continued to fall, hitting their lowest since August 2012. In Tokyo, gold futures surged as much as 4.8 percent to 5,025 yen ($51.71) per gram, near the record high of 5,081 yen touched in February, as the yen faltered. The most-active February contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange closed up 4.5 percent at 5,015 yen, the biggest single-day percentage increase since Sept. 27, 2011. The Japanese currency slid to 98.85 versus the dollar, its weakest since June 2009, on reports that the central bank would buy 1.2 trillion yen ($12.35 billion) of government bonds with a maturity of over five years this week, showing a sense of urgency never before seen in the BOJ. "If the yen goes up to 100 then we have quite a good chance to try higher prices for TOCOM gold," said Yuichi Ikemizu, branch manager for Standard Bank in Tokyo. Last week, the BOJ promised to inject about $1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years, a gamble that sent bond yields plummeting as prices rose on the prospect of massive purchases of debt by the central bank. Precious metals prices 0642 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1578.94 -2.56 -0.16 -5.71 Spot Silver 27.30 0.00 +0.00 -9.84 Spot Platinum 1539.24 8.24 +0.54 0.28 Spot Palladium 729.72 3.31 +0.46 5.45 COMEX GOLD JUN3 1579.10 3.20 +0.20 -5.77 19847 COMEX SILVER MAY3 27.25 0.03 +0.09 -9.87 3473 Euro/Dollar 1.2984 Dollar/Yen 98.54 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months ($1 = 97.1700 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Ed Davies and Joseph Radford)
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