RPT-PRECIOUS-Gold hits record on dollar, India buying talk

 (Refiles to additional subscribers)
* Gold hits new high on talk India may buy more gold
* Holdings in iShares Silver Trust SLV hit record high
* SPDR Gold holdings inch up 0.08 pct
 By Miho Yoshikawa
 TOKYO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Gold struck a record high for a
second time this week, rising above $1,178 an ounce on
Wednesday, as the dollar slipped and a newspaper reported that
India was "open to buying" more gold from the International
Monetary Fund.
 Gold has jumped nearly 13 percent since the beginning of
this month as investors poured money into the precious metal
after India's central bank announced it had bought 200 tonnes
of bullion from the IMF.
 The central banks of Russia and Sri Lanka have separately
said they had bought gold to diversify their assets.
 The market gained further on Wednesday after Indian
newspaper the Financial Chronicle said the Reserve Bank of
India (RBI) could buy the IMF's remaining volume of gold, now
the subject of negotiations.
 The newspaper quoted an Indian government official as
saying: "(The) RBI is an independent body and the government
does not interfere in its affairs. It will get the gold if its
bid is successful and at the price it has offered."
 India's central bank governor, Duvvuri Subbarao, declined
to comment on whether the bank would buy more gold from
overseas, however. [ID:nBMA006468]
 "That India report has certainly helped to push the
momentum in the market today," said Darren Heathcote, head of
trading at Investec Australia.
 Spot gold XAU= rose to an all-time high of $1,178.60 an
ounce after the India report. Prices later eased to $1,177.30
by 0632 GMT, still up 0.8 percent from the notional close in
New York. Gold topped the previous high of $1,173.50 hit on
 U.S. gold futures for December delivery GCZ9 also rose to
a record high of $1,178.50. The previous record high was the
$1,174.00 marked on Monday.
 "If India is potentially buying more, then that doesn't
particularly surprise me," said David Moore, commodities
strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.
 "At the moment, as we speak, the U.S. dollar is going
through one of its soft patches again," he said.
 The U.S. dollar held near a six-week low against the yen on
Wednesday, while the Australian dollar gained on the greenback
and the Japanese currency after an upbeat speech from a central
banker and a rise in construction work. [USD/]
 Additional bullish news came from Vietnam's state
broadcaster VTV, which said the country's central bank had
granted quotas for the import of 10 tonnes of gold since
lifting an import ban this month and 6.8 tonnes had already
come in. [ID:nSP527138]
 Traders said the thin trading volume ahead of Thursday's
U.S. Thanksgiving holiday had served to exaggerate price moves.
 "We've seen at times relatively large movements on
relatively small volume because the market is literally very
thin," Heathcote said.
 But market sentiment remained bullish.
 "The same forces are at play...underpinning it (gold) at
the moment, the weaker dollar is a very big one," he said.
 Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Co Ltd in Tokyo,
said investors continued to believe that other central banks
might buy gold.
 "Gold is being bought even when the euro falls against the
dollar, and what we are seeing is an active flow of funds,"
Saito said.
 He noted that other markets were quiet, with gold
attracting most of the activity.
 Japan's Nikkei stock average .N225 was up 0.4 percent on
Wednesday after hitting a four-month intraday low, with tech
shares and banks sold amid persistent concerns about equity
funding, a rising yen and uncertainty about government economic
policy. [.T]
 Traders say investors are also attracted to gold, often
seen as a hedge against inflation, which erodes the value of
paper assets.
 Money has also flowed into other precious metals investment
 The world's largest silver-backed exchange-traded fund, the
iShares Silver Trust SLV, said its silver holdings rose
135.98 tonnes or 1.5 percent from the previous business day to
a record 9,252.02 tonnes as of Nov. 24. [ID:nT349998]
 The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR
Gold Trust GLD, said its holdings stood at 1,122.371 tonnes
as of Nov. 24, up 0.914 tonnes or 0.08 percent from the
previous business day. [GOL/SPDR]
 The U.S. crude oil price CLc1 hovered around $76 per
barrel on Wednesday, following a fall of 2 percent in the
previous session after data showed the U.S. economy grew at a
slower-than-expected pace last quarter. [O/R]
 Precious metals prices at 0639 GMT
 Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg
 Spot Gold        1177.50    8.60   +0.74     33.78
 Spot Silver        18.70    0.21   +1.14     65.19
 Spot Platinum    1462.50   18.00   +1.25     56.92
 Spot Palladium    370.50    4.15   +1.13    100.81
 TOCOM Gold       3359.00   20.00   +0.60     30.55      
 TOCOM Platinum   4167.00   26.00   +0.63     57.13      
 TOCOM Silver      533.00    1.30   +0.24     66.93        
 TOCOM Palladium  1061.00   -2.00   -0.19     92.91        
 Euro/Dollar       1.4994
 Dollar/Yen         88.33
 TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except TOCOM silver which is
 priced in yen per 10 grams.  Spot prices in $ per ounce.
 (Additional reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Sambit
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