May 19, 2014 / 11:06 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold ends flat as S&P 500 rises; platinum up

* No catalyst with lack of U.S. economic indicators this week

* Central Bank Gold Agreement renewed with no sales limit

* SPDR ETF holdings fall 0.3 tonnes on Friday

* Coming up: US ICSC chain-store sales data Tuesday (Adds second byline, dateline; updates market activities)

By Frank Tang and Clara Denina

NEW YORK/LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - Gold erased initial gains to end flat on Monday as rising U.S. equities decreased bullion’s appeal as a hedge, sending the metal below the key $1,300-an-ounce level.

Platinum climbed, extending last week’s gain, its strongest performance in six weeks, on supply worries due to strikes at South African mines.

Analysts said a lack of U.S. economic indicators this week could pressure gold by prompting some buyers to stay on the sidelines.

“There are contradicting factors keeping the gold market in the current narrow trading range ... you have a softer dollar and political tensions like the Ukraine conflict on one side,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

“Meanwhile, lacklustre investment demand in terms of ETFs and reports of rather soft physical demand prevented prices to increase,” he said.

Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,293.86 an ounce by 2:01 p.m. EDT (1801 GMT), after two consecutive sessions of losses.

U.S. COMEX gold futures for June delivery settled up 40 cents by $1,293.80 an ounce, with trading volume about 20 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.

The dollar index was down 0.1 percent, indicating reduced risk appetite that would support gold, while the S&P 500 equities index rose.

However, the precious metal looked less attractive compared with U.S. bonds as strong U.S. housing data on Friday has pushed the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield slightly higher.

Returns on U.S. bonds are closely watched by the gold market, given that the metal pays no interest.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.26 tonnes to 781.99 tonnes on Friday, in a sign of ebbing investor demand.

In official-sector news, the ECB and other central banks announced the renewal of the current central bank gold agreement from September this year.

Platinum group metals rose as labor strikes at South African platinum and palladium mines continued. The world’s third-largest platinum supplier Lonmin said it lost a third of production for the year due to the strikes.

Platinum rose 0.3 percent to $1,462.40 an ounce, while palladium was up 10 cents at $812.30 an ounce.

Silver was up 0.4 percent to $19.34 an ounce.


SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold JUN 1293.80 0.40 0.0 1289.50 1305.70 99,724 US Silver MAY 19.322 0.030 0.2 19.355 19.560 278 US Plat JUL 1470.20 4.10 0.3 1465.30 1486.00 8,785 US Pall JUN 815.60 0.60 0.1 813.80 824.50 3,123 Gold 1293.86 0.77 0.1 1290.08 1304.90 Silver 19.340 0.080 0.4 19.320 19.670 Platinum 1462.40 5.10 0.3 1466.50 1481.50 Palladium 812.30 0.10 0.0 816.00 822.50 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY

CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 108,328 138,793 179,722 13.9 -0.60 US Silver 35,695 56,299 55,695 20.62 -0.88 US Platinum 8,929 9,830 12,517 17.02 -0.67 US Palladium 3,782 5,854 5,827 23.9 -0.72 (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by John Stonestreet, David Evans and Meredith Mazzilli)

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