PRECIOUS-Gold posts weekly gain on physical demand, weak S&P

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:07pm EDT

* Geopolitical tensions in Syria benefit safe havens
    * S&P 500 set to post weekly loss on Fed stimulus
uncertainty
    * HSBC cuts price forecasts for platinum, palladium
    * Coming up: U.S. New York State manufacturing index Monday

 (Updates throughout, adds comment, adds second byline,
dateline, pvs LONDON)
    By Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - Resilient demand for
coins and bars and a pullback in the U.S. equities market lifted
gold on the day and for the week on Friday.
    Traders said rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East
also boosted the metal's safe-haven appeal. Western diplomats
said the United States is considering setting up a no-fly zone
in Syria, which would represent its first intervention in that
civil war, after the White House said Syria had crossed a "red
line" by using nerve gas. 
    The metal rose about 0.3 percent on the week. It has now
posted gains in three of the last four weeks following a
historic two-day selloff in mid-April.
    "We've seen volume remain strong after it dramatically
picked up starting in the middle of April," said Scott Carter,
CEO of precious metals dealer Lear Capital, adding that the
sharp price drop prompted investors to add physical gold and
silver positions.
    Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,388.16 an ounce by
2:27 p.m. EDT (1827 GMT) on Friday. 
    U.S. Comex gold futures for August delivery settled
up $9.80 at $1,387.60. Turnover was very low as trading volume
was under 100,000 lots versus its 30-day average of 220,000,
preliminary Reuters data showed.
    U.S. data on Friday showed consumer sentiment edged off a
six-year high in June, while manufacturing output picked up a
bit last month after two straight months of declines, suggesting
the economy remains on a moderate growth path.
    Other data on Friday showed wholesale prices jumped in May
as gasoline and food prices rebounded. 
    Markets will watch closely the U.S. Federal Reserve policy
meeting on June 18 and 19. Most economists expect the Fed to
scale back the size of its bond purchases by yearend, and
several expect reduced buying as early as September, a Reuters
poll showed. 
    Worries about a possible Fed stimulus withdrawal sent the
S&P 500 index down nearly 1 percent this week. 
    The largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold
Trust, said its holdings declined by 6.3 tonnes on
Thursday, reversing gains earlier this week. 
    Silver climbed 1.2 percent to $22.07 an ounce.
    
    PLATINUM, PALLADIUM DOWN FOR WEEK
    HSBC lowered its platinum price forecasts for this year and
next, even though supplies are tight, citing the sharp selloff
in gold so far this year. 
    Platinum and palladium both posted their biggest weekly
falls since the mid-April slide. Analysts cited easing supply
worries after South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (AMCU) delayed plans on Thursday to strike.
    Spot platinum was down 0.6 percent at $1,442.24 an
ounce, notching a 4 percent weekly drop. Palladium inched
up 0.1 percent to $730.25 an ounce, ending the week about 3.5
percent lower.
    
 2:27 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold AUG   1387.60   9.80   0.7  1377.80 1391.80   92,819
 US Silver JUL  21.954  0.371   1.7   21.620  22.500   39,053
 US Plat JUL   1447.40   0.30   0.0  1439.00 1462.90   11,512
 US Pall SEP    731.70   0.65   0.1   725.10  736.30    2,793
                                                               
 Gold          1388.16   2.72   0.2  1378.98 1391.61         
 Silver         22.070  0.270   1.2   21.730  22.300
 Platinum      1442.24  -8.26  -0.6  1444.00 1461.50
 Palladium      730.25   0.75   0.1   727.25  733.75
                                                               
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold         96,768   217,529   181,428     21.11   -0.96
 US Silver       47,233    53,810    56,281     32.28    0.68
 US Platinum     12,978    12,102    11,677     22.59    0.31
 US Palladium     2,892     6,316     5,572                  
                                                               
    

 (Editing by Jason Neely; and Peter Galloway)