* Gold inches lower on weak euro data, Spanish debt worries
* Consolidation continues after data-inspired rally Friday
* Investors consider gold's next move in tumultuous June
* Coming up: U.S. productivity Wednesday
(Adds details, new graphic link, updates market activity)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, June 5 Gold prices edged lower in
light volume o n T uesday, as the market took a breather from last
week's rally and investors shifted their attention to a flurry
of key economic events in Europe and central bank meetings
scheduled later this month.
Bullion continued to consolidate last week's 3.5 percent
gain as business surveys showed that all of the euro zone's
major economies are now in decline. Investor
sentiment remains jittery as Spain said credit markets were
closing as G7 finance chiefs held emergency talks on the
currency bloc's worsening debt crisis.
The metal surged 4.3 percent last Friday after a
disappointing U.S. jobs report fueled speculation of further
U.S. monetary easing. Investors now mull over gold's response to
a tumultuous June ahead of a key election in Greece which could
hasten its exit from the euro zone, and major central-bank
meetings later this month.
"If we have conditions that could lead to additional duress
in the equities market and further easing, and gold doesn't
respond positively to that, then we are seeing a breakdown of
its fundamental use as a hedge in portfolios," said Mark
Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery
Scott, a broker-dealer with about $54 billion in assets.
Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,616.81 an
ounce by 2:36 p.m. EDT (1836 GMT).
U.S. COMEX gold futures for August delivery drifted
higher in thin trade to settle up $3 at $1,616.90. The
discrepancy between the direction sof spot and U.S. gold on
Tuesday was due to the COMEX futures' slightly lower close in
the previous session.
Trading volume was set to be among one of this year's lows
at just over 90,000 lots versus its 30-day average at nearly
210,000 lots, preliminary Reuters data showed, as the British
market was shut for a second consecutive day due to the Queen's
On the options front, analysts said that some volatility
indicators and recent trading of SPDR Gold Trust, the
world's largest gold exchange-traded fund, suggested bullion
prices should rise.
"Long GLD call spreads have been the options trade of choice
over the last few trading sessions as investors looked to
implement a bullish bias with limited volatility exposure,"
Philip Saunders, equity derivative strategist at broker-dealer
Topeka Capital Markets said in a note.
TECHNICAL OUTLOOK, CHINESE BUYING
On weekly charts, gold broke above its bear channel
connecting its 2012 highs following its recent rally, Barclays
Research strategists said in a note. And the area between $1,522
and $1,533 an ounce is providing strong technical support, they
Confidence in gold, which has been knocked by weak
consumption b y number one gold buyer India in recent months, was
underpinned by data on Monday that showed extremely elevated
imports of the metal into China.
Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.9 percent
at $28.47 an ounce. Spot platinum was up 0.7 percent at
$1,432.99 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 1.4
percent at $616.60 an ounce.
2:36 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold AUG 1616.90 3.00 0.2 1612.50 1624.80 87,834
US Silver JUL 28.405 0.398 1.4 28.080 28.510 33,073
US Plat JUL 1440.50 13.20 0.9 1428.80 1448.80 4,345
US Pall SEP 619.80 5.90 1.0 611.30 623.70 1,591
Gold 1616.81 -1.94 -0.1 1612.85 1623.30
Silver 28.470 0.250 0.9 28.140 28.540
Platinum 1432.99 10.34 0.7 1433.00 1447.50
Palladium 616.60 8.22 1.4 613.02 620.75
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 90,776 209,628 195,733 25.14 -0.28
US Silver 43,681 52,909 53,393 36.53 2.49
US Platinum 4,716 7,717 7,987 18 0.00
US Palladium 1,658 5,810 4,593
(Additional reporting by Doris Frankel in Chicago and Jan
Harvey in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Leslie Gevirtz)