* Bargain hunting, dollar fall rekindle gold bullion buying
* New York futures underperform spot gold
* Market looks to Yellen comments set for Thursday
* Coming up: U.S. weekly initial jobless claims Thursday
By Frank Tang and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 13 Spot gold held steady
Wednesday, supported by a drop in the dollar and bargain hunting
with prices near a one-month low, and looked on track to snap a
In the absence of U.S. economic data, bullion investors
awaited comments from Fed policymakers, including Chairman Ben
Bernanke, due to speak at 7:00 p.m. EST (0000 GMT), for clues on
the longevity of the Fed's stimulus.
Bernanke's speech comes on the heels of divergent remarks by
several other Fed officials.
Minneapolis Fed Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota said
Tuesday monetary policy should remain accommodative, but Atlanta
Fed President Dennis Lockhart did not rule out a decision to
taper the bond-buying stimulus at the December policy meeting,
though he also said the Fed should keep policy very easy.
The precious metal fell 1 percent in the previous session,
and lost nearly 4 percent in the past four days.
"Gold's negative price reaction to the possibility of a
December Fed tapering indicates to us that the bullion market is
likely to remain sensitive to expectations for changes in
monetary policy," said James Steel, chief metals analyst at
Spot gold gained 0.1 percent to $1,268.81 an ounce by
U.S. Comex gold futures for December delivery
underperformed spot gold, were down $2.80 at $1,268.30 an ounce.
Investors now switch their focus on comments related to
monetary policy that Fed Chairman nominee Janet Yellen will make
at her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.
Silver dropped 1.1 percent at $20.48 an ounce after
dropping 3 percent in the previous session to a four-week low.
In physical market news, the U.S. Mint's 2013 American Eagle
silver bullion coin sales on Tuesday rose to an record high,
highlighting retail investors' strong appetite for silver
Spot platinum was down 0.4 percent at $1,424.20 an
ounce and spot palladium fell 1.3 percent to $727.97 an
Prices at 1:37 p.m. EDT (1837 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
US gold 1268.30 -2.80 -0.2% -24.3%
US silver 20.475 -0.003 -1.5% -32.3%
US platinum 1430.90 -8.70 -0.6% -7.0%
US palladium 730.50 -11.85 -1.6% 3.9%
Gold 1268.81 1.20 0.1% -24.2%
Silver 20.48 -0.22 -1.1% -32.4%
Platinum 1424.20 -5.55 -0.4% -7.4%
Palladium 727.97 -9.50 -1.3% 3.7%
Gold Fix 1272.50 -3.50 -0.3% -23.5%
Silver Fix 20.70 -40.00 -1.9% -30.9%
Platinum Fix 1438.00 2.00 0.1% -5.6%
Palladium Fix 740.00 1.00 0.1% 5.9%