* Gold under pressure from firm equities
* SPDR gold holdings fall 3 tonnes on Friday
* Nov. China imports from Hong Kong down 42 pct
By Clara Denina
LONDON, Dec 30 Gold fell in thin holiday trade
on Monday, heading for its biggest annual loss in more than
three decades at nearly 30 percent, as rising appetite for risk
and the prospect of a global recovery tarnished its allure.
European stocks hovered around five-year highs after two
weeks of strong gains, following from a six-year peak in
"What's currently driving investors is the idea that
commodities are out of fashion and equities are in demand,"
Quantitative Commodity Research owner Peter Fertig said.
"And, with low inflation pressures, there is still some
downside risk for gold as long as the stock market remain
Gold is usually seen as an hedge against inflation, which
has stopped to be a concer for investors for the time being.
Spot gold fell to a session low of $1,200.79 an ounce
in earlier trade and was down 0.6 percent to $1,205.40 by 1456
GMT, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery
slipped $9.00 to $1,204.90 an ounce.
"For the time being, price moves will be exaggerated by the
lack of liquidity ... but in the absence of any fresh macro news
I don't think we are going to break below $1,190 or above
$1,225," MKS SA head of trading Afshin Nabavi said.
Gold's performance in 2013 has put an end to 12 straight
years of growth, with prices hit by the U.S. central bank's
decision to rein in its monetary stimulus, which will raise the
opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.
Expectations that the U.S. economy will improve and the rest
of the world's growth will stabilise in 2014, have further
undermined the case for holding bullion, as investors look to
put their money in riskier assets like equities.
In wider markets, the dollar fell 0.4 percent versus
a basket of currencies as the 10-year U.S. notes yield
steadied below an earlier two-year high.
FUND HOLDINGS FALL
Heavy outflows from gold-exchange traded funds also
reflected investors' diminishing interest. Holdings on SPDR Gold
Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, fell three tonnes on Friday to their lowest since Jan.
2009 at 801.2 tonnes.
The physical market saw a few deals among trading houses and
jewellers, keeping premiums for gold bars steady at $2 an ounce
to the spot London prices in Hong Kong, a centre for bullion
trading in East Asia.
Premiums in Singapore were steady at $1.50 an ounce to the
spot London prices, but there wasn't much activity.
China's net gold imports from Hong Kong fell 42 percent to
76.393 tonnes in November from 131.19 tonnes in October,
reflecting a drop in demand after strong purchases in previous
Silver fell 1.9 percent to $19.67 an ounce. Silver is
down 35 percent this year in its worst annual performance since
at least 1982.
Spot platinum was down 1.2 percent at $1,355.50 an
ounce, snapping four consecutive sessions of gains. Spot
palladium was up 0.6 percent to $711.97 an ounce.
(Additional reporting by Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore; Editing
by William Hardy)