November 13, 2013 / 11:21 AM / in 4 years

PRECIOUS-Gold bullion steadier on dollar drop after four down days

* Bargain hunting, dollar fall rekindle gold bullion buying
    * New York futures underperform spot gold
    * Market looks to Yellen comments set for Thursday
    * Coming up: U.S. weekly initial jobless claims Thursday

    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Spot gold held steady
Wednesday, supported by a drop in the dollar and bargain hunting
with prices near a one-month low, and looked on track to snap a
four-day fall.
    In the absence of U.S. economic data, bullion investors
awaited comments from Fed policymakers, including Chairman Ben
Bernanke, due to speak at 7:00 p.m. EST (0000 GMT), for clues on
the longevity of the Fed's stimulus.
    Bernanke's speech comes on the heels of divergent remarks by
several other Fed officials.
    Minneapolis Fed Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota said
Tuesday monetary policy should remain accommodative, but Atlanta
Fed President Dennis Lockhart did not rule out a decision to
taper the bond-buying stimulus at the December policy meeting,
though he also said the Fed should keep policy very easy.
    The precious metal fell 1 percent in the previous session,
and lost nearly 4 percent in the past four days.
    "Gold's negative price reaction to the possibility of a
December Fed tapering indicates to us that the bullion market is
likely to remain sensitive to expectations for changes in
monetary policy," said James Steel, chief metals analyst at
    Spot gold gained 0.1 percent to $1,268.81 an ounce by
1:37 p.m.
    U.S. Comex gold futures for December delivery
underperformed spot gold, were down $2.80 at $1,268.30 an ounce.
    Investors now switch their focus on comments related to
monetary policy that Fed Chairman nominee Janet Yellen will make
at her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.
    Silver dropped 1.1 percent at $20.48 an ounce after
dropping 3 percent in the previous session to a four-week low.
    In physical market news, the U.S. Mint's 2013 American Eagle
silver bullion coin sales on Tuesday rose to an record high,
highlighting retail investors' strong appetite for silver
physical products. 
    Spot platinum was down 0.4 percent at $1,424.20 an
ounce and spot palladium fell 1.3 percent to $727.97 an
 Prices at 1:37 p.m. EDT (1837 GMT)                          
                               LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                         CHG    CHG     CHG
 US gold                    1268.30    -2.80  -0.2%  -24.3%
 US silver                   20.475   -0.003  -1.5%  -32.3%
 US platinum                1430.90    -8.70  -0.6%   -7.0%
 US palladium                730.50   -11.85  -1.6%    3.9%
 Gold                       1268.81     1.20   0.1%  -24.2%
 Silver                       20.48    -0.22  -1.1%  -32.4%
 Platinum                   1424.20    -5.55  -0.4%   -7.4%
 Palladium                   727.97    -9.50  -1.3%    3.7%
 Gold Fix                   1272.50    -3.50  -0.3%  -23.5%
 Silver Fix                   20.70   -40.00  -1.9%  -30.9%
 Platinum Fix               1438.00     2.00   0.1%   -5.6%
 Palladium Fix               740.00     1.00   0.1%    5.9%
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