PRECIOUS-Gold rises on bargain hunting, snaps 3-day drop
* Bargain hunting helps gold reverse early loss * Barrick Gold CEO in talks on further asset sales * SPDR inflows drop again, physical demand weak (Adds trader comment, second byline, dateline, updates market activity) By Frank Tang and Clara Denina NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Tuesday as physical buying at lower prices and technical support helped bullion snap a three-day losing streak. Earlier in the session, the precious metal was down after U.S. economic data showed slowing growth in U.S. home prices in July and a dip in consumer confidence this month. Gold later turned higher on bargain hunting and technical buying after bullion rebounded from a session low near $1,300 an ounce. "Buyers have been stepping in each time gold holds support down near $1,300 an ounce, which looks like a short-term bottom for now," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors, which has about $1.2 billion in mutual-fund assets. "Investors are now adjusting positions against the uncertainty on Fed tapering," he said. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,323.70 an ounce by 3:13 p.m. EDT (1913 GMT). U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down $10.70 an ounce at $1,316.30, with trading volume in line with its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. New York Fed President William Dudley said on Monday that the U.S. central bank could still reduce its support for the economy later this year, while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Friday that stimulus could be scaled back in October, depending on economic data. "Gold is falling because markets are now expecting an improvement in the next U.S. labour market next week, which could lead to the Fed tightening, as the Fed's decision is data dependent," Quantitative Commodity Research owner Peter Fertig said. WEAK PHYSICAL DEMAND Gold premiums across Asia remained weak due to subdued physical demand ahead of what is typically a strong buying period for top consumers India and China as they head into wedding and festival seasons. Moves by India to cut gold imports as it wrestles with its ballooning current account deficit have been keeping buyers at bay. In gold mining news, Barrick Gold Corp is in talks on further asset sales, with the focus on divesting smaller, higher-cost mines, Chief Executive Jamie Sokalsky told Reuters on Tuesday. As a gauge of investor interest, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.1 percent on Monday from Friday, having shed another tonne last week. That has brought its total outflow for the year to 440 tonnes. In other precious metals, silver gained 0.6 percent to $21.72 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.6 percent to $1,423.49 an ounce and palladium climbed 0.9 percent to $718.75 an ounce. 3:13 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1316.30 -10.70 -0.8 1305.50 1329.40 147,363 US Silver DEC 21.586 -0.271 -1.2 21.325 22.035 41,169 US Plat OCT 1418.80 -7.10 -0.5 1416.10 1433.00 13,881 US Pall DEC 720.00 2.05 0.3 711.40 722.25 2,315 Gold 1323.70 2.16 0.2 1306.65 1328.96 Silver 21.720 0.120 0.6 21.330 21.990 Platinum 1423.49 7.89 0.6 1421.00 1430.00 Palladium 718.75 6.75 0.9 713.75 719.75 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 159,846 165,055 180,370 22.8 -4.78 US Silver 42,555 67,891 57,870 35.12 1.74 US Platinum 21,872 11,884 12,434 21.2 0.00 US Palladium 2,343 6,851 5,900 (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jane Baird)
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