* US gold futures volume strong on rollover, options expiry
* EU finmin, IMF seek to agree on unfreezing Greek aid
* Safe-haven bids on potential Greek default could boost
(Adds markets details, updates prices)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Nov 26 Gold eased on Monday, tracking
weaker equities and commodities, as investors turned their focus
back to euro zone talks on aid to Greece.
Bullion traded in a range of just $7, one of the narrowest
of the year, after rallying on Friday to its highest point in
more than a month.
Traders are slowly returning from the U.S. Thanksgiving Day
holiday last week, and volatility in outside markets dropped.
Analysts said the gold market could benefit if the
International Monetary Fund and the euro zone cannot reach an
agreement to shore up debt-stricken Greece with much needed
Volume was higher than usual for a second straight session,
largely because of contract rollover ahead of COMEX December
option expiration Tuesday and the December contract's
first-notice day Friday, traders said.
"Most of the activity came from CTAs (Commodity Trading
Advisors) and hedge funds who were either adding to longs or
reversing their shorts. It seems that the expectations for the
Fed's planned actions are stronger now than they had been before
the election," said Carlos Perez-Santalla, a broker at PVM
Turnover had been quiet in the last month as gold's rally
appeared to fade after the Federal Reserve said in September it
would keep pumping stimulus money until the job market showed
Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,749.14 by 2:49 p.m.
EST (1949 GMT), near Friday's high of $1,754.10, its loftiest
price since Oct. 12.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled
down $1.80 an ounce at $1,749.60, with trading volume about 20
percent above its 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data
Some investors took profits after a 1.5 percent rally,
considered a technical breakout by analysts, which lifted
bullion above its 50-day moving average.
GREECE, EURO ZONE CRISIS IN FOCUS
The S&P 500 index and crude oil both fell due to
European debt jitters. Euro zone finance ministers and the IMF
made their third attempt in as many weeks to agree on releasing
emergency aid for Greece on Monday, with policymakers saying a
write-down of Greek debt is off the table for now.
"A failure to strike a deal in the coming days could trigger
a Greek default, raising again the question of a Greek exit
(from the euro zone) and potentially seriously endangering the
resolution of the euro area crisis," Barclays strategists said
in a note.
Among other precious metals, silver inched up 10
cents to $34.11 an ounce. Spot platinum was down 0.4
percent at $1,609 an ounce, while spot palladium edged
down 0.3 percent at $659.97 an ounce.
2:49 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold DEC 1749.60 -1.80 -0.1 1746.00 1752.30 140,123
US Silver DEC 34.137 0.021 0.1 33.885 34.225 60,938
US Plat JAN 1611.00 -6.10 -0.4 1605.60 1623.70 6,513
US Pall DEC 661.20 -6.40 -1.0 659.00 671.35 4,707
Gold 1749.14 -3.25 -0.2 1746.53 1752.50
Silver 34.110 0.010 0.0 33.920 34.210
Platinum 1609.00 -5.70 -0.4 1606.50 1618.50
Palladium 659.97 -2.03 -0.3 662.50 669.00
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 211,638 158,009 175,640 13.05 -0.12
US Silver 98,305 47,469 56,185 21.02 0.98
US Platinum 6,812 8,722 9,483 18.28 0.35
US Palladium 7,877 4,560 4,587
(Additional reporting by David Brough in London; editing by Jim