May 10, 2012 / 10:11 AM / in 5 years

PRECIOUS-Gold rises on bargain hunting; Europe worry eases

* Gold buyers enter at lower price after pullback
    * Easing euro zone debt worries lead to gold's rebound
    * India's gold imports fall in April
    * Coming up: US producer prices, consumer sentiment Fri

 (Updates market activity)	
    By Frank Tang	
    NEW YORK, May 10 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday, ending a
three-day losing streak, as bargain hunters waded into the
market after prices fell sharply this week on worries about a
worsening European debt crisis.	
    Bullion followed U.S. equities higher as stress in Spanish
debt markets eased slightly, and after Greece secured funds to
repay its bondholders. Still, after three days of losses,
bullion remained more than 3 percent lower this week.	
    Fading hopes for more U.S. monetary easing after a strong
run of U.S. economic data has prompted investors to unwind
bullish bets in gold. Thursday's data showed U.S. jobless claims
edged down last week, offering a glimmer of hope after April's
weak employment growth. 	
    "Gold has behaved closer to risky assets rather than
differentiating itself as a safe haven asset and has been	
winded by the possibility of further quantitative easing being
scaled back," said Suki Cooper, precious metals analyst at
Barclays Capital.	
     Weak physical demand from key gold consumers India and
China also failed to boost prices, said Cooper, who also lowered
her 2012 gold and platinum forecasts. 	
    Asian bullion buying has tended to rebound last year
following sharp price pullbacks.	
    Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,594.90 an ounce by
3:02 p.m. (1902 GMT), rebounding from a four-month low on
    U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled up $1.30
an ounce at $1,595.50, with trading volume largely in line with
its 30-day average, in line with a recent stronger trend.	
    While investors bought gold as a safe haven from risk during
the debt crisis last year, it is now trading more in line as a
commodity which moves in the opposite direction to the U.S.
    Ross Norman, chief executive of bullion broker Sharps
Pixley, said gold's collapse this week was not surprising
because bullion currently tended to trade inversely to the
dollar, which overwhelmed the metal's safe-haven bid in times of
extreme market stress.	
    Some fresh buying was seen in India after bullion's price
fall, but interest was tentative. 	
    India's trade secretary said on Thursday its April gold
imports fell to $3.1 billion from $4.7 billion a year ago.
Demand in the world's biggest gold consumer has been hurt by
changes to import duties, a weak rupee and high spot prices. 	
    Goldman Sachs, however, said resilient physical demand, as
well as weak U.S. growth and renewed euro zone risks were
positive for the yellow metal. 	
    Among other precious metals, silver eased 0.4 percent
to $29.11 an ounce.	
    Spot platinum edged down 0.5 percent to $1,484.49 an
ounce, while spot palladium climbed 0.6 percent to
$612.47 an ounce.	
 3:02 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT 
               SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL 
 US Gold JUN   1595.50   1.30   0.1  1585.00 1602.20  128,952 
 US Silver MAY  29.136 -0.061  -0.2   29.000  29.210       30 
 US Plat JUL   1493.80  -5.40  -0.4  1486.10 1509.00    6,398 
 US Pall JUN    615.35   1.70   0.3   611.10  622.55    3,214 
 Gold          1594.90   4.45   0.3  1586.43 1601.80         
 Silver         29.110 -0.110  -0.4   28.980  29.460 
 Platinum      1484.49  -7.29  -0.5  1489.50 1505.00 
 Palladium      612.47   3.67   0.6   613.85  619.75 
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY 
               CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG 
 US Gold        147,759   155,722   193,053     18.65   -0.21 
 US Silver       31,953    54,841    60,974     28.76   -0.53 
 US Platinum      6,661     6,658     8,204        19    0.00 
 US Palladium     4,086     2,993     4,682                  
 (Additional reporting by Jan Harvey and Amanda Cooper in
London; Editing by David Gregorio)

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