* U.S. Q2 economic growth fared better than expected
* Recent bullion rally boosts interest in gold options
* Bernanke speech awaited for clues on monetary easing
* Coming up: U.S. personal income, jobless claims Thursday
(Adds details, graphic link, updates market activity)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Aug 29 Gold fell on Wednesday as
upwardly revised figures for U.S. economic growth triggered
profit-taking in the precious metal after its recent rally on
speculation of new stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
The metal came under pressure after data showed the U.S.
economy fared slightly better in the second quarter than
initially thought. The pace of growth, however, remained too
slow to shut the door on a possible third round of U.S.
bond-buyback, known as quantitative easing, analysts said.
Despite Wednesday's drop, gold has gained 3 percent in the
last seven sessions, on market expectations Fed Chairman Ben
Bernanke could use his speech at Friday's annual symposium of
central bankers and finance ministers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
to send a strong message to markets.
Last week, gold broke above the upper end of a four-month
trading range to over $1,640 an ounce, after the minutes of the
Fed's latest policy meeting revealed the U.S. central bank
intended to adopt gold-friendly stimulus soon unless economic
conditions improve dramatically.
"A Jackson Hole premium may certainly be priced in gold,"
said Carlos Perez-Santalla, precious metals trader at PVM
Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,658.11 an ounce
by 2:47 p.m. EDT (1847 GMT), its biggest one-day drop in two
U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down
$6.70 an ounce at $1,663. Trading volume was 30 percent below
its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said that he expected
Bernanke's Friday speech might temporarily disappoint gold
markets, but strong performance of gold exchange-traded funds
and buying by central banks suggested a momentary price dip
could be a buying opportunity.
In addition, investors expect the European Central Bank to
soon unveil an effective plan to tackle the high borrowing costs
facing struggling euro zone nations such as Spain.
Any efforts by central banks to print money to boost growth
should benefit gold, a traditional inflation hedge.
SPDR GOLD TRUST REPORTS INFLOW
Investment interest in gold remained elevated, with the
world's largest gold exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust
recorded an inflow of more than 3 tonnes on Tuesday. That
brought its rise for the month to nearly 38 tonnes, its biggest
one-month inflow since November.
Among other precious metals, silver eased 0.3 percent
to $30.75 an ounce, while spot palladium was down 0.3
percent at $633.25 an ounce.
Platinum edged up 0.3 percent to $1,515.99 an ounce,
underpinned by supply worries amid unrest in the South African
mining sector, after violence at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine
killed 44 earlier this month.
2:47 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold DEC 1663.00 -6.70 -0.4 1654.40 1672.50 92,933
US Silver SEP 30.837 -0.038 -0.1 30.525 30.940 39,942
US Plat OCT 1520.30 -0.10 0.0 1510.00 1525.90 6,178
US Pall SEP 634.85 -4.85 -0.8 629.80 641.05 3,002
Gold 1658.11 -8.42 -0.5 1653.13 1669.54
Silver 30.750 -0.090 -0.3 30.580 30.970
Platinum 1515.99 4.79 0.3 1514.50 1520.50
Palladium 633.25 -1.65 -0.3 633.00 639.50
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 104,289 147,702 180,239 16.89 -0.44
US Silver 75,445 46,089 56,673 27.57 -0.54
US Platinum 6,641 14,401 9,627 23.1 -0.23
US Palladium 7,045 6,630 4,641
(Additional reporting by Jan Harvey in London; Editing by
Marguerita Choy and Steve Orlofsky)