PRECIOUS-Gold down on economic optimism, ETF holdings steady

Tue May 14, 2013 2:50pm EDT

* S&P equities index up around 1 pct
    * SPDR Gold ETF holdings remain unchanged
    * Fitch upgrades Greece sovereign debt rating
    * Coming up: U.S. producer prices Tuesday


    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Gold fell for a fourth
consecutive session on Tuesday, its longest losing streak in
over two months, as economic optimism and another intraday
record high in U.S. equities sapped bullion's safe-haven appeal.
    The precious metal erased earlier gains after the S&P 500
index rallied almost 1 percent on broad gains in shares
in banks and financial institutions. 
    Gold also extended losses after credit-rating agency Fitch's
upgraded Greece's sovereign credit rating by one notch, citing
the country's progress in cutting its budget deficit and the
receding risk of its euro zone exit. 
    A halt in the liquidation in exchange-traded funds after
months of hefty outflows, and strong physical demand in coins
and bars around the world after the mid-April selloff provided
underlying demand.
    Analysts cited Akshaya Tritiya, a key gold-buying Hindu
festival on Monday, for support to bullion prices.
    "We expect Indian gold demand to remain at elevated levels
with the festive gold-buying wedding season under way," said
James Steel, chief precious metal analyst at HSBC.
    Spot gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,424.14 by 2:26 p.m.
EDT (1826 GMT), having earlier risen by 1 percent to a session
high of $1,444.96. 
    The metal hovered just above its two-week low of $1,420.61
set on Friday. It has faced the headwinds of a stronger dollar
against the yen and the euro over the past few sessions.
    U.S. Comex gold futures for June delivery settled
down $9.80 at $1,424.50 an ounce, with trading volume about 20
percent near its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
showed.
    Gold has recovered about half of its losses after a sell-off
in mid-April dragged prices to more than two-year lows at
$1,321.35, but it is still well below April's high of around
$1,600, as investors shifted into equities and cut exposure to
bullion.
    
  
    
    SPDR GOLD HOLDINGS UNCHANGED
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, stood unchanged on Monday
after a string of heavy outflows, raising hopes that gold ETF
liquidation might have finally finished, analysts said.
 
    The fall in gold prices last month led to a surge in
physical buying in Asia and elsewhere, helping to pluck prices
off lows, but physical demand for some gold products began to
subside. 
    "While gold coin sales have been brisk, undoubtedly helping
the recent recovery, we have to suspect that the
'bargain-buying' off the lows has decelerated somewhat after the
initial spurt," said Edward Meir, a metals analyst at futures
brokerage INTL FCStone. 
    In other precious metals, silver fell 1 percent to
$23.36 an ounce, platinum was up 1.6 percent to $1,499.50
an ounce and palladium rose 1.7 percent to $727.08 an
ounce.
 2:26 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold JUN   1424.50  -9.80  -0.7  1419.70 1444.90  157,454
 US Silver JUL  23.379 -0.317  -1.3   23.075  23.760   36,369
 US Plat JUL   1501.90  17.40   1.2  1481.40 1510.00   11,001
 US Pall JUN    727.15   8.45   1.2   708.40  733.80    8,689
                                                              
 Gold          1424.14  -5.91  -0.4  1422.45 1444.96         
 Silver         23.360 -0.240  -1.0   23.170  23.780
 Platinum      1499.50  23.50   1.6  1486.10 1507.50
 Palladium      727.08  12.30   1.7   710.75  729.47
                                                              
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        183,007   225,987   178,696      22.1   -0.12
 US Silver       40,763    79,503    55,145     27.88   -0.64
 US Platinum     11,208    12,086    11,816     19.71   -0.05
 US Palladium    11,845     5,391     5,017