September 26, 2013 / 9:58 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold falls on dollar rise, mixed U.S. economic data

* Profit-taking after safe-haven bids on U.S. budget talks
    * U.S. initial jobless claims at near 6-year low
    * Pending home sales down for third month in August
    * Coming up: US personal income, core PCE Price index Friday

 (Updates market activity)
    By Frank Tang and Clara Denina 
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Thursday
as a rise in the dollar and mixed U.S. economic indicators
prompted investors to take profits after gains in the previous
    In U.S. economic data on Thursday, contracts to buy
previously owned homes fell for a third straight month in
August, while fewer Americans filed new claims for jobless
benefits last week - conflicting signals on the health of the
    Meanwhile, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives
refused to give in to President Barack Obama's demands for
straightforward bills to keep the government running beyond
Sept. 30 and to increase the government's borrowing authority to
avoid default. 
    Bullion rose almost 1 percent on Wednesday on continued
safe-haven buying spurred by uncertainty over whether U.S.
lawmakers would be able to agree to a spending bill before next
Tuesday to avert a government shutdown. Analysts said, however, 
that gold's gains on U.S. budget talks were likely to be
    "Gold could receive a bid over the short term as worries 
rise over the debt ceiling talks, but we doubt whether this
variable alone will be enough to keep the complex elevated for
long," said Edward Meir, metals analyst at futures brokerage
    Spot gold was down 0.8 percent at $1,322.40 an ounce
at 3:11 p.m. EDT (1911 GMT).
    U.S. Comex gold futures settled down $12.10 an ounce
at $1,324.10, with trading volume in line with its 30-day
average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
    For the third quarter, gold is on track to rise 7 percent
after a record 23 percent decline in the second quarter.
    Two years ago, the first U.S. debt ceiling crisis helped
push gold to a record $1,920 an ounce in September 2011. The
crisis was resolved at the last minute.
    Investors continued to watch U.S. economic numbers to
determine whether the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin reducing
bond purchases this year.
    Bullion gained more than 4 percent last week after Fed chief
Ben Bernanke refused to commit to starting a reduction in
quantitative easing this year, defying expectations for a $10
billion cut to the Fed's $85 billion monthly bond-buying
    Uncertainty over the timing of the Fed's next move has led
to choppy trading over the past few sessions.
    Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.5 percent
to $21.65 an ounce, platinum dropped 1.5 percent to
$1,404.50 an ounce, and palladium inched down 0.2 percent
to $718.75 an ounce.
 3:11 PM EDT     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold DEC   1324.10 -12.10  -0.9  1319.20 1340.00  141,317
 US Silver DEC  21.766 -0.120  -0.5   21.665  22.130   35,585
 US Plat OCT   1410.70 -18.10  -1.3  1408.90 1434.40   12,270
 US Pall DEC    723.45  -2.25  -0.3   721.00  726.80    2,203
 Gold          1322.40 -10.59  -0.8  1319.38 1338.60         
 Silver         21.650 -0.100  -0.5   21.670  22.080
 Platinum      1404.50 -21.70  -1.5  1413.20 1432.50
 Palladium      718.75  -1.75  -0.2   723.25  724.25
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        160,392   165,481   180,276     26.89    1.39
 US Silver       36,653    65,668    57,847     33.35   -1.55
 US Platinum     27,223    12,784    12,446     19.81    0.00
 US Palladium     2,209     6,741     5,903                  

 (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore;
Editing by Pravin Char, Peter Galloway and John Wallace)
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