PRECIOUS-Gold climbs for 2nd day on safe-haven buying

Thu Jul 4, 2013 3:03am EDT

* Gold supported by turmoil in Portugal, Egypt
    * Market awaiting U.S. nonfarm jobs report on Friday
    * Coin demand not as strong as April - Perth Mint

 (Updates prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, July 4 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher for a second
session on Thursday as worries over Europe and Egypt prompted
safe-haven buying, but the mood remained cautious ahead of U.S.
jobs data that could determine the outlook for the Federal
Reserve's stimulus measures. 
    Bullion has gained nearly 2 percent so far this week after
posting its biggest quarterly loss on record, helped as well by
short covering and bargain hunting. 
    The last two days it has been boosted by political turmoil
in Portugal, where talks over the government's future threatened
to reignite the euro-zone crisis, and by the ousting of Egypt's
President Mohamed Mursi by the army.
    "It is typical safe-haven buying," said a Hong Kong-based 
trader. "But we don't know if the upside will continue. The
nonfarm report tomorrow is important for gold."
    U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday could determine
when the Federal Reserve begins tapering its $85 billion monthly
bond buying stimulus.
    Investors were also on the sidelines due to the U.S.
Independence Day holiday on Thursday. 
    Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,253.04 an ounce by
0647 GMT, after gaining almost 1 percent on Wednesday. Comex
gold rose over $1 to $1,253.10.
    Gold has fallen sharply since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said
last month the U.S. economy was recovering strongly enough for
the central bank to begin pulling back on its stimulus in the
next few months, and possibly end the programme in mid-2014. 
    The metal fell to nearly a three-year low of $1,180.71 last
week and is down 25 percent for the year. 
    
    PHYSICAL DEMAND 
    Despite the lower prices, physical demand is not as strong
as expected, dealers have said. 
    Gold demand in India, the world's biggest buyer of the
metal, remained lukewarm on Wednesday as a drop in the rupee
lifted local prices by more than one percent amid restrictions
by the central bank on gold imports. 
    In China, consumers have been put off by fears of a cash
crunch and are waiting for another drop in gold prices. 
    "Our coin dealers in Australia have seen a good response to
this recent drop. But it is not the same response as we got in
April," said Bron Suchecki, manager of analysis and strategy at
the Perth Mint.
    The mint's depository business was not seeing significant
liquidations but the inflows have dropped off, he said.
    
  Precious metals prices 0647 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1253.04    1.85   +0.15    -25.17
  Spot Silver        19.64   -0.05   -0.25    -35.14
  Spot Platinum    1350.99   13.99   +1.05    -11.99
  Spot Palladium    683.25    0.75   +0.11     -1.26
  COMEX GOLD AUG3  1253.10    1.20   +0.10    -25.22        11045
  COMEX SILVER SEP3  19.67   -0.03   -0.15    -35.10
  Euro/Dollar       1.3000
  Dollar/Yen         99.54
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Tom Hogue and Ed
Davies)