PRECIOUS-Gold down for day, but posts biggest monthly gain since July

Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:28pm EST

* US fourth-quarter GDP revised down
    * Gold up 6.5 pct for February
    * Shanghai market trades at discounts with cash gold
    * Coming up: US personal income Monday

 (Adds comment, second byline, dateline, updates market
activities)
    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Friday as
U.S. equities climbed, but the yellow metal still posted its
biggest monthly gain since July as persistent concerns about a
slowdown in the U.S. economy boosted bullion's safe-haven
status.
    Gold gained nearly 7 percent in February, its biggest
monthly rise in seven, mostly due to signs of economic weakness
in China and the United States as well as political and economic
turmoil in Ukraine.
    "In general, whether it's Ukraine, the U.S. economic data or
worries about China, there seem to be a lot more reasons than
there were six weeks ago for looking at gold," Nomura analyst
Tyler Broda said.
    Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,324.26 an ounce
by 2:54 p.m. EST (1954 GMT), about $20 below a four-month high
of $1,345.35 struck on Wednesday. 
    U.S. COMEX gold futures for April delivery settled
down $10.20 at $1,321.60 an ounce, with volume about 10 percent
below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
    Bullion fell as data showed the U.S. government slashed its
estimate for fourth-quarter economic growth on Friday in the
latest sign of a loss of momentum, but some tentative signs
emerged that suggested the worst of the slowdown may be over. 
    The gold market also ignored the dollar's fall to a
two-month low against the euro after data showed euro zone
inflation unexpectedly held steady this month and U.S. economic
growth was revised lower for the fourth quarter. 
    
    PHYSICAL SLOWDOWN
    Premiums for gold bars in Hong Kong dipped to $1 an ounce to
 the spot London prices from as high as $1.70 last week, which
reflected a slowdown in demand from China. 
    Weakening differentials between 99.99 percent purity gold
 on the Shanghai Gold Exchange and cash gold
 discouraged imports. On Friday, the Shanghai market was
trading at discounts to almost on par with cash gold. 
    Among other precious metals, silver dropped 0.6
percent to $21.12 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.4 percent
to $1,441.50 an ounce and palladium gained 0.3 percent
to$740.75 an ounce.
    On Thursday, platinum group metals had risen about 1.5
percent after the second biggest platinum miner Impala Platinum
 decided to declare force majeure on supply contracts,
which allows certain terms of an otherwise legally binding
agreement to be ignored. 
 2:54 PM EST     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold APR   1321.60 -10.20  -0.8  1319.30 1333.60  117,832
 US Silver MAR  21.204 -0.110  -0.5   21.070  21.390    1,470
 US Plat APR   1446.80  -6.60  -0.5  1441.10 1456.80   13,069
 US Pall MAR    743.85   1.60   0.2   741.60  746.95      463
                                                               
 Gold          1324.26  -6.80  -0.5  1319.95 1333.30         
 Silver         21.120 -0.120  -0.6   21.100  21.390
 Platinum      1441.50  -5.57  -0.4  1443.00 1454.50
 Palladium      740.75   2.35   0.3   742.50  745.00
                                                               
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        135,058   149,591   186,040     16.08   -0.08
 US Silver       38,865    74,512    57,624     25.73   -1.43
 US Platinum     14,204     9,484    12,877     17.32    0.22
 US Palladium     4,717     8,077     5,559      12.8   -1.44
                                                               
    

 (Additional reporting by Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore; Editing
by William Hardy, David Evans and Diane Craft)
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