* Better US industrial production data saps gold demand
* Gold holds near 200-day moving average at $1,300
* Downside seen on specs trimming longs, Good Friday ahead
* Coming up: US jobless claims, Philly Fed Thurs
(Adds Fed's Beige Book in paragraph 10, updates prices)
By Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 16 Gold prices were
little changed on Wednesday, as gains were limited by rising
Wall Street stocks and strong U.S. industrial production data
fed investor caution about bullion a day after prices fell
nearly 2 percent.
Gold traded around its key 200-day moving average support
near $1,300 an ounce after a U.S. government report showed
industrial production rose faster than expected in March.
Still, other U.S. data showed the housing market still
dragging the U.S. economy. Groundbreaking for new homes
increased in March, but remained well below the post-recession
peak hit in November.
Any safe-haven bid for gold was muted by the absence of new
violence reported between Ukraine government forces and
pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, traders said.
Analysts said bullish U.S. economic data has prompted
speculators to sharply trim bearish bets, but gold remains
vulnerable should investors close out more long positions.
"There is room for specs to cut back further, and with
increasingly limited liquidity ahead of the holidays, it
wouldn't take as much to get prices moving south," said UBS
precious metals strategist Edel Tully.
The U.S. gold market will be shut on Friday for the Good
Spot gold inched up 42 cents to $1,302.46 an ounce by
3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), following Tuesday's 1.8 percent drop on
heavy technical selling after prices fell below the 200-day
U.S. COMEX gold futures for June delivery settled up
$3.20 an ounce at $1,303.50, with trading volume about 35
percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
The yellow metal largely ignored signs that U.S. economic
activity picked up in recent weeks as a weather-related drag
lifted, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report of
anecdotal information on nationwide business activity.
After reaching a peak of $1,330 an ounce on Monday, gold was
hit by a wave of selling as worries over economic growth and
demand from top consumer China pushed it through a series of key
U.S. equities rose for a third straight session after China
reported economic growth a touch above forecasts, a relief for
stock market investors fearful of a much weaker outcome.
On the investment side, holdings in SPDR Gold Trust,
the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.60
tonne to 806.82 tonnes on Tuesday, in the second straight day of
inflows after three weeks of outflows.
Among other precious metals, silver edged up 0.2
percent to $19.61 an ounce, having hit a 2-1/2-month low at
$19.24 an ounce in the previous session.
Platinum climbed 0.1 percent to $1,435.80 an ounce,
while palladium rose 1 percent to $799.25 an ounce.
3:00 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold JUN 1303.50 3.20 0.2 1293.50 1307.10 108,733
US Silver MAY 19.634 0.145 0.7 19.325 19.805 36,842
US Plat JUL 1437.80 -6.80 -0.5 1433.90 1446.40 6,603
US Pall JUN 802.30 6.40 0.8 790.15 804.05 4,035
Gold 1302.46 0.42 0.0 1293.90 1307.20
Silver 19.610 0.040 0.2 19.370 19.790
Platinum 1435.80 0.90 0.1 1435.00 1443.50
Palladium 799.25 7.55 1.0 791.75 802.10
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 111,650 173,822 175,546 15.88 -0.33
US Silver 44,964 50,567 59,075 23.47 0.11
US Platinum 6,661 14,160 12,279 19.9 0.35
US Palladium 4,166 5,867 5,908 32.08 0.56
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London; Editing by
Jane Baird, Jason Neely, David Gregorio and Chizu Nomiyama)