* S&P climbs above 2,000 mark for first time
* Dollar gains vs basket of currencies
* Lonmin to cut South African workforce 21 pct -sources
(Adds market comment, updates prices; adds byline, NEW YORK
By Chris Prentice and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 25 Gold slipped on Monday,
hovering near its lowest in two months, under pressure from a
stronger U.S. dollar and from rallying global financial markets.
Gold fell 0.3 percent at $1,277.19 an ounce by 1:52
p.m. EDT (1752 GMT). The metal last week posted a weekly loss of
1.8 percent, its biggest such fall in a month, after it set a
two-month low at $1,273.06 on Thursday, hurt by strong U.S.
economic data and speculation of an early interest rate
U.S. gold futures closed down $1.30 at $1,278.90 an
ounce. Electronic trading was halted for four hours on Monday
due to a technical glitch.
The U.S. dollar gained, weighing on dollar-denominated
commodities as it makes them more expensive for holders of other
The U.S. benchmark S&P breached the 2,000 mark for the first
time as expectations that the European Central Bank would move
to boost economic growth sent global financial markets shooting
"Equity markets continue to be strong, robbing gold of the
opportunity to go higher," said HSBC precious metals analyst
Even so, price moves and trading volumes were subdued
throughout the day. The metal held above chart support around
$1,270, traders said, as liquidity was drained by the absence of
British players on a holiday-lengthened weekend.
At a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last week stressed the need
to move cautiously on raising rates. Higher interest rates would
hurt the attractiveness of non-interest-bearing assets such as
Falling bullion prices attracted buying from jewellers in
Asia, but the amount was limited and investors stayed on the
sidelines, traders said.
Premiums for gold bars in Hong Kong stood at 70 cents to
$1.10 to spot London prices, higher than 50 cents to $1.00
quoted late last week because of purchases from jewellers.
July net gold flows into China from Hong Kong dropped to
22.107 tonnes versus 40.543 tonnes in June, their lowest for
three years, due to ample supply and as jewellers waited for
bargains, data showed on Monday.
Tracking gold, silver was down 0.3 percent to $19.35
an ounce, after matching but breaching Thursday's two-month low
Spot platinum slipped 0.2 percent to $1,413.50 an
ounce, having touched its lowest since May 5 at $1,407.30 last
Platinum producer Lonmin aims to cut about 21
percent of its South African workforce, or around 5,700 jobs, in
a bit to restore profits, sources said.
Spot palladium edged up 0.3 percent at $886 an
(Additional reporting by Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore; Editing
by Dale Hudson, David Evans and Marguerita Choy)