* Fed's stimulus seen to run through 2013 despite upbeat
* Spot gold neutral in $1,564.44-$1,586.90/oz -technicals
* Coming Up: France industrial output; 0745 GMT
By Rujun Shen
SINGAPORE, March 11 Gold edged up on Monday,
pulling off a two-week low hit in the previous session on
better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, as the Federal Reserve is
expected to keep propping up the economy with monetary stimulus
through 2013, giving support to the metal.
U.S. employers added a greater-than-expected 236,000 workers
to their payrolls in February and the jobless rate fell to a
four-year low, but Wall Street expects the Fed to continue its
bond buying programme.
The Fed's loose monetary policy has helped push gold to
record highs in recent years, as investors have sought a hedge
against a rising inflation outlook due to cash printing by the
But signs of recovery have emerged, fuelling speculation the
Fed would curtail its monetary stimulus sooner rather than
later, sapping interest in gold.
"Gold prices have built in the view that the U.S. recovery
is on a good footing and by the end of the year we should see
the Fed exiting the stimulus, which should be bearish for gold,"
said Jeremy Friesen, commodity strategist at Societe Generale in
A short-term bounce in gold is likely, as concerns about the
strength of the U.S. recovery and expectations of aggressive
monetary easing from the Bank of Japan next month might spur
buying, he added.
Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,582.11 an ounce
by 0634 GMT, recovering from a two-week low of $1,560.80 in the
U.S. gold was also up 0.3 percent, at $1,581.30.
Technical analysis suggested spot gold looks neutral in the
range of $1,564.44 to $1,585.90 an ounce, but is biased to fall
below $1,564.44, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Physical buying interest in Southeast Asia was slow, as
customers waited for a clear price direction.
"We don't hear from them on new indent," said a
Singapore-based dealer, "Customers are not keen to buy since we
have settled in a range for a while."
Gold has traded in the range of roughly $1,560 to $1,580
since the beginning of March.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 3.311 tonnes to 1,239.739
tonnes by the end of last week, the lowest since October 2011.
SPDR Gold Trust has seen more than 111 tonnes of outflows
this year, wiping out the total 96.25 tonnes of inflow in 2012,
reflecting investors' shifting interest away from safe havens.
Echoing the sentiment of gold ETF investors, hedge funds and
money managers cut their net long positions in U.S. gold futures
and options by nearly 27 percent to 39,631 contracts in the week
to March 5, the lowest since July 2007, data from the Commodity
Futures Trading Commission showed.
Net longs in silver dropped 47 percent on the week to 6,118
lots, the lowest in more than seven months, the data also
Spot palladium dropped 1.5 percent to $768.22, off
Friday's peak at $784.50, its highest since September 2011.
Precious metals prices 0634 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1582.11 4.37 +0.28 -5.52
Spot Silver 29.04 0.08 +0.28 -4.10
Spot Platinum 1599.50 -0.49 -0.03 4.20
Spot Palladium 768.22 -12.00 -1.54 11.01
COMEX GOLD APR3 1581.30 4.40 +0.28 -5.64 18394
COMEX SILVER MAY3 29.04 0.09 +0.32 -3.94 3401
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months