February 26, 2013 / 1:02 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as Italy vote uncertainty boosts safe-haven appeal

SINGAPORE, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Spot gold inched up on
Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session as
uncertainty over Italy's election results stoked fears of a
resurgent euro zone debt crisis, boosting bullion's appeal as a
safe-haven investment.
    * Spot gold had edged up 0.1 percent to $1,595.41 an
ounce by 0034 GMT, extending gains into the fourth straight
    * U.S. gold was up half a percent at $1,595.10.
    * Election projections show that no party is likely to win a
majority in the upper house of Italy's Senate, fuelling worries
about revived political uncertainty in the euro zone's
third-largest economy, which could reignite the debt crisis.
    * Investors will closely watch U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday,
to seek clues on the Fed's attitude on its monetary policy.
    * Likely government budget cuts and the prospect for messy
political fights over fiscal policy will weigh on the U.S.
economy this year and hold growth to a tepid 2.4 percent,
according to a survey of forecasters published on Monday.
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, dropped 7.83 tonnes, or 0.61
percent, to 1,272.848 tonnes on Feb 25, the lowest since August
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    * U.S. stocks on Monday suffered their biggest drop since
November after the strong showing in Italian elections by groups
opposed to the country's economic reforms. 
    * The euro crouched near a six-week low against the dollar
while the yen kept some distance from multi-month lows on
 1245 U.S.   ICSC weekly chain store sales                      
 1400 U.S.   CaseShiller housing index                          
 1400 U.S.   FHFA home price index                              
 1500 U.S.   New home sales                                     
 1500 U.S.   Consumer confidence                                 
 1500 U.S.   Richmond Fed composite index                       
 1500 U.S.   Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke delivers semi-annual testimony to U.S. Senate Banking Committee 
    Precious metals prices 0034 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1595.41    1.55   +0.10     -4.73
  Spot Silver        29.05    0.04   +0.14     -4.06
  Spot Platinum    1610.00    5.50   +0.34      4.89
  Spot Palladium    738.00    4.78   +0.65      6.65
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1595.10    8.50   +0.54     -4.82         3627
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  29.02    0.03   +0.10     -4.02          787
  Euro/Dollar       1.3081
  Dollar/Yen         92.62
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months  

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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