November 19, 2013 / 11:31 AM / in 4 years

PRECIOUS-Gold ends nearly flat, Fed minutes in focus

* Bullion traded in narrow $10 range
    * Gold at key technical support near $1,280/oz
    * Fed to release minutes from October policy meeting Weds

    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little
changed on Tuesday, stabilizing after Monday's sharp losses, as
investors looked forward to the minutes of the Fed's October
meeting for clues about future monetary policy.
    Platinum and palladium rose on supply worries after South
African utility Eskom declared a power emergency on Tuesday, a
move that could reduce output at mines and smelters. Gains in
platinum group metals, however, petered out later in the day.
    Bullion largely treaded water in a narrow $10 range,
following the largely flat currency and equities markets amid a
lack of major U.S. economic indicators.
    Rick Bensignor, head of trading strategy at Wells Fargo
Securities, said gold is hovering at critical support near
$1,280 an ounce based on the Ichimoku technical cloud model, and
a break below that could see a swift drop to $1,111.
    "Some long-term players may say the risk is low to buying.
If they are right, this will be near the bottom for the whole
(down) move, and if they are wrong, they risk losing $160 before
they find the next important support," Bensignor said.
    Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,274.44 an ounce by
3:05 p.m. EST (2005 GMT), after Monday's 1.2 percent drop.
    U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up
$1.20 at $1,273.50 an ounce, with trading volume about 40
percent below its 250-day average.
    A drop in the dollar index against a basket of
currencies also underpinned gold prices. 
    The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said
the U.S. central bank should wait until next year, possibly
until March, before beginning to wind down its massive
bond-purchase program. 
    Wednesday will see the release of the minutes from the Fed's
October meeting, which may give investors clues about future
monetary policy.
    Investor sentiment remained bearish amid stronger stock
markets. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1.2 tonnes to
864.51 tonnes on Monday - the smallest since February 2009.
    Silver eased 1 cent at $20.37 an ounce.
    Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $1,411.40 an ounce,
benefiting from news that South African power utility Eskom had
declared an emergency after the grid came under severe
constraint due to the loss of additional generating units.
    Palladium was up 0.5 percent to $718.47 an ounce.
    The metal's 50-day moving average was poised to break above
its 200-day moving average, known as a golden cross, suggesting
the autocatalyst metal has room to rally in the next several
months, analysts said. 
 3:05 PM EST     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold DEC   1273.50   1.20   0.1  1268.00 1278.20   93,854
 US Silver DEC  20.334 -0.023  -0.1   20.200  20.475   40,476
 US Plat JAN   1419.90   8.90   0.6  1405.10 1425.50    8,271
 US Pall DEC    721.90   5.15   0.7   713.30  725.60   11,080
 Gold          1274.44   0.70   0.1  1269.73 1278.41         
 Silver         20.370 -0.010   0.0   20.230  20.480
 Platinum      1411.40   3.40   0.2  1408.00 1422.50
 Palladium      718.47   3.75   0.5   716.00  723.00
                CURRENT   250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        112,881   189,283     23.18   -1.01
 US Silver       57,449    58,610     35.14    1.70
 US Platinum      8,414    12,978     20.36    0.00
 US Palladium    18,606     5,806
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