September 4, 2013 / 10:42 AM / in 4 years

PRECIOUS-Gold down on economic hopes and as Syria fears fade

* Unclear if, when US Congress might authorize attack on
    * U.S. auto sales rise in August, Fed's Beige Book lends
    * Silver, platinum group metals fall
    * Coming up: US durable goods, jobless claims Thursday

 (Adds trader comments, US auto sales, second byline, dateline,
updates market activity)
    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Gold fell 1.5 percent on
Wednesday, slipping below $1,400 an ounce as strong U.S. auto
sales boosted economic hopes and fears of a Western-led military
strike against Syria lost some of their urgency.
    Silver and platinum group metals tumbled along with other
industrial commodities. Platinum and palladium each posted their
biggest one-day loss in more than two months.
    Bullion gave up its gains from Tuesday. It remained unclear
whether Congress would approve a military strike against Syria
in response to a poison gas attack that killed civilians last
    "The belief that there will be some form of immediate action
and the need for a run to the safe-haven metal have faded. Also,
the better the economy, the worse the gold price will look,"
said Thomas Capalbo, precious metals broker at futures brokerage
    The Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" report showed that the
U.S. economy expanded at a "modest to moderate" pace in most of
the country between early July and late August, just strong
enough to reinforce the prospect of a pullback in monetary
    Spot gold dropped 1.5 percent to $1,390.61 an ounce
by 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT). 
    U.S. Comex gold futures for December settled down $22
an ounce at $1,390, with volume about 20 percent below its
30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
    Prior to Wednesday's selloff, gold had gained 11 percent
since Aug. 7 on uncertainty over when the Fed will start to cut
its $85 billion monthly bond-buying stimulus program.
    "Gold had a very big move and it's digesting it. We ...
don't think there are a lot of catalysts to move gold higher
immediately," said Rob Lutts, chief investment officer of Cabot
Money Management which has $500 million in assets.
    Silver, platinum and palladium, precious metals which have
strong industrial demand, fell broadly even though data showed
U.S. auto sales rose 17 percent in August, their strongest month
since October 2007. 
    Silver dropped 3.1 percent to $23.42 an ounce, its
biggest daily drop since July 17. 
    Platinum fell 2.4 percent to $1,492.28 an ounce, its
largest one-day drop since June 26. Palladium fell below
$700 an ounce for the first time in about two months, down 2.9
percent to $695.47 an ounce, also its biggest daily decline
since June 26.
 3:25 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold DEC   1390.00 -22.00  -1.6  1384.60 1415.00  130,647
 US Silver DEC  23.415 -1.014  -4.2   23.375  24.430   44,673
 US Plat OCT   1494.70 -43.50  -2.8  1490.80 1540.10   12,340
 US Pall DEC    698.25 -19.70  -2.7   693.70  720.20    6,446
 Gold          1390.61 -21.43  -1.5  1385.25 1414.61         
 Silver         23.420 -0.750  -3.1   23.360  24.380
 Platinum      1492.28 -36.72  -2.4  1494.75 1536.50
 Palladium      695.47 -20.53  -2.9   696.27  716.22
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        142,031   176,150   184,709     23.95   -0.31
 US Silver       47,124    70,288    58,350     38.42    1.64
 US Platinum     13,420     9,747    12,265      21.3    0.00
 US Palladium     6,615     6,816     5,787                  

 (editing by Jim Marshall)

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