* Obama considering Iraq air strike report helps
* Breaks above 50, 100-day moving averages, holds 200 DMA
* SPDR Gold Trust holdings fall
* Coming up: US wholesale inventory data Friday
(Adds market details, updates prices)
By Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 7 Gold prices rose on
Thursday as safe-haven buying amid rising tensions in Iraq and
Ukraine extended the previous session's rally, and analysts said
the metal could gain further after having breached key technical
Bullion climbed after the New York Times reported that U.S.
President Barack Obama was considering air strikes and emergency
relief airdrops to help 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq, who
are trapped on a mountaintop after threats by Islamic militants.
A White House spokesman later would not say if air strikes were
Analysts said technical buying could further lift gold after
worries about a possible escalation of the military conflict in
Ukraine sent bullion prices above key resistance, including the
50-day and 100-day moving averages on Wednesday.
"That gold prices had managed to hold at the 200-day moving
average, despite a couple of attempts to break the downside,
could well have lured short-term players back in," said Edel
Tully, precious metals strategist at UBS.
Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,310.74 an ounce by
2:05 p.m. EDT (1805 GMT).
On Wednesday, gold jumped about 1.5 percent for its biggest
one-day gain in more than a month, triggered by worries about
an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and by a weak undertone
in global equities.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled
up $4.30 an ounce at $1,312.50, while trading volume was about
25 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
Bullion initially fell as U.S. equities rose after data
showed the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week. The S&P 500
equities index, however, later erased gains to trade lower.
Gold investors took heart after the European Central Bank
said it held borrowing rates at record low levels as the Ukraine
crisis has heightened risks to the euro zone's weak and uneven
Despite Wednesday's price gains, holdings in the world's
largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust,
fell 2.4 tonnes to 797.65 tonnes on Wednesday.
Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.4
percent at $19.92 an ounce. Platinum rose 1.4 percent to
$1,473.70 an ounce, while palladium was up 0.6 percent at
$852.47 an ounce.
2:05 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold DEC 1312.50 4.30 0.3 1303.00 1315.50 107,073
US Silver SEP 19.990 -0.034 -0.2 19.880 20.130 38,324
US Plat OCT 1481.50 16.30 1.1 1464.50 1483.00 9,684
US Pall SEP 856.05 7.15 0.8 847.00 860.80 6,455
Gold 1310.74 4.75 0.4 1302.40 1313.30
Silver 19.920 -0.090 -0.4 19.910 20.110
Platinum 1473.70 19.70 1.4 1463.70 1477.50
Palladium 852.47 5.17 0.6 848.00 858.15
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 120,856 165,762 157,651 14.83 0.16
US Silver 49,618 43,794 57,595 18.64 0.29
US Platinum 9,791 8,700 12,443 14.52 1.73
US Palladium 7,578 4,659 5,574 19.35 0.54
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; editing by David
Evans, Meredith Mazzilli and Tom Brown)