* Lack of new reports of Ukraine violence triggers selling
* Investors spooked after recent gold ETF outflows
* Australia, Hong Kong, London closed for Easter
* Coming up: U.S. existing home sales Tuesday
(Adds updated prices and market activity)
By Frank Tang and A. Ananthalakshmi
NEW YORK/SINGAPORE, April 21 Gold prices fell to
a nearly three-week low on Monday as sharp outflows from the
world's biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF) and
the lack of a further increase in geopolitical tension prompted
Palladium slid more than 2 percent on follow-through
weakness after South Africa's biggest platinum producers last
week offered to raise wages for miners in a bid to end a
widespread mining strike.
Silver also fell more than 1 percent, weighed down by the
decline in platinum group metals.
In Ukraine, an agreement reached last week to avert wider
conflict was faltering as the new week began, with pro-Moscow
separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering the government
buildings they have seized. However, no new violence was
"Some of the problems have subsided over the conflict
between Russia and Ukraine. The climax of tensions is probably
behind us at least for now," said Phillip Streible, senior
commodities broker at RJ O'Brien in Chicago.
Spot gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,288.72 an ounce
at 3:17 p.m. EDT (1917 GMT), having earlier hit $1,281.40, less
than $5 above a two-month low of $1,277.29.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for June delivery settled
down $5.40 at $1,288.50 an ounce. Trading volume was less than
100,000 lots, sharply below its 30-day average of 170,000
contracts, preliminary Reuters data showed.
The London market was shut on Monday for a bank holiday,
while U.S. traders returned to their desks after the Good Friday
holiday. In addition, Australia, Hong Kong and London were
closed on Monday for the Easter holiday.
Analysts said that some investors in gold have been spooked
by last week's significant outflows from gold ETF holdings.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's top gold ETF and a good
measure of investor sentiment, saw outflows of 9.3 tonnes.
Before last week, the fund - closely watched due to the size
of its holdings - had gained 6.2 tonnes since the beginning of
Silver slid in tandem with losses in gold and
platinum group metals, falling 1.2 percent to $19.36 an ounce.
Due to Monday's drop, silver has reversed its gains and is lower
on the year.
In physical market news, China has begun allowing gold
imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the
matter said, in a move that would help keep purchases discreet
at a time when it might be boosting official reserves.
In gold mining news, sources told Reuters that talks between
Barrick Gold Corp and Newmont Mining Corp over
a combination that would create a gold mining behemoth have hit
a snag, but the companies remain keen on a deal and discussions
are likely to resume.
Among platinum group metals, platinum slipped 0.8
percent to $1,393.30, while palladium dropped 2.1 percent
to $777.55 an ounce.
3:17 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold JUN 1288.50 -5.40 -0.4 1281.80 1302.50 95,843
US Silver MAY 19.351 -0.245 -1.3 19.230 19.705 30,848
US Plat JUL 1400.70 -28.00 -2.0 1399.80 1418.20 9,499
US Pall JUN 777.80 -29.30 -3.6 766.90 802.00 5,474
Gold 1288.72 -4.93 -0.4 1282.30 1300.90
Silver 19.360 -0.230 -1.2 19.280 19.690
Platinum 1393.30 -11.50 -0.8 1401.00 1415.00
Palladium 777.55 -16.45 -2.1 773.75 800.15
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 98,949 170,351 174,863 16.3 0.28
US Silver 39,540 50,994 59,341 21.2 -1.42
US Platinum 9,585 14,023 12,290 15.84 -1.15
US Palladium 5,552 5,948 5,931 27.25 -2.55
(Editing by Joseph Radford, Muralikumar Anantharaman, Sunil
Nair, Andrew Hay and Peter Galloway)