* Bullion reverses losses after brief futures trading pause
* Gold investors shrug off U.S. economic data
* SPDR posts biggest outflow in 3 weeks
* Coming up: US housing starts, consumer confidence Tuesday
(Adds trader comment, updates market activity)
By Frank Tang and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 25 Gold prices rose on
Monday, reversing early losses in a late-session rally, as
options-related demand and short-covering offset a weaker crude
oil market following a deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Buying related to Monday's Comex December option expiration
and the December-February contract rollover underpinned gold
prices, said George Gero, vice president of RBC Capital Markets.
Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,249.64 by 3:32
p.m. EST (2032 GMT), having earlier fallen to its lowest level
since July 8 at $1,227.34 an ounce.
Early in the day, bullion prices fell 1 percent to a
four-month low after a weekend agreement that halts Iran's most
sensitive nuclear activity. The deal suspends some sanctions by
the United States and the European Union on several sectors of
Iran's economy for an initial six-month period.
U.S. Comex gold futures trading was halted for 20 seconds at
1:02 a.m. by CME Group's Stop Logic mechanism to prevent
excessive price movements. In the 10 minutes around the trading
pause, gold prices slid more than $11 on a higher-than-average
volume of 5,400 lots.
Gold futures for December delivery settled up $2.90
at $1,241.20 an ounce.
Trading volume was 60 percent above its 30-day average,
largely boosted by the December-February contract rollover ahead
of the December contract's first-notice day on Friday,
preliminary Reuters data showed.
Mixed U.S. economic reports had little effect on gold
prices. Data showed contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes
hit a 10-month low in October, but a strong rebound in services
sector activity early this month suggested some resilience in
"The problem for gold investors is that the horizon now is
so flat in terms of that negative shock from either inflation or
deflation," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at
Miller Tabak & Co. "There is just a lack of rationale to stay
invested in gold."
A partial recovery in the crude oil market, which had fallen
3 percent earlier in the session, lifted the market off its
lows, traders said. Brent crude futures ended down 0.1
Gold is usually seen as a hedge against oil-led inflation.
ETF OUTFLOWS, TAPER FEARS WEIGH
Bullion was still weighed down by fears of an early end to
U.S. stimulus measures and by the biggest drop in three weeks in
the holdings of the largest bullion-backed exchange-traded fund.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund and the best measure of
investor sentiment, fell 4.50 tonnes to 852.21 tonnes on Friday,
the lowest since February 2009. That was the sharpest drop since
Silver was up 0.7 percent at $20 an ounce, having
touched its lowest since mid-August at $19.54 earlier.
Platinum edged up 0.2 percent to $1,380.99 an ounce,
while palladium rose 0.6 percent to $718.47 an ounce.
3:32 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold DEC 1241.20 -2.90 -0.2 1225.70 1254.00 177,436
US Silver DEC 19.882 0.020 0.1 19.570 20.100 55,282
US Plat JAN 1377.80 -4.90 -0.4 1374.20 1389.50 9,190
US Pall DEC 719.90 5.85 0.8 708.95 725.05 5,120
Gold 1249.64 6.65 0.5 1228.38 1252.50
Silver 20.000 0.140 0.7 19.540 20.070
Platinum 1380.99 3.19 0.2 1377.25 1388.00
Palladium 718.47 6.11 0.9 712.52 720.97
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 242,830 153,898 158,890 19.99 0.12
US Silver 84,326 51,410 54,387 24.99 -1.28
US Platinum 9,379 9,465 12,987 16.55 -1.43
US Palladium 9,004 7,538 5,829 19.76 -2.64
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore;
editing by Jane Baird, Anthony Barker, David Evans, David
Gregorio and Peter Galloway)