November 29, 2013 / 4:21 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold set for biggest loss in 5 months on U.S. stimulus concerns

* Headed for 6 pct monthly drop, biggest loss since June
    * Thin trading, physical buying keep prices in range
    * China demand picks up this week, volumes increase

 (Updates prices)
    By A. Ananthalakshmi
    SINGAPORE, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Gold was headed for its
biggest monthly drop since June as a recovering U.S. economy
prompted investors to shift money to rallying equities, amid
expectations of an end to easy central bank money. 
    Gold has shed 6 percent for the month and has lost more than
a quarter of its value so far this year, which puts it on track
to post its first annual loss in 13 years. 
    It has stayed below $1,300 for three weeks now and has been
largely rangebound in the last few sessions due to thin trading
around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
    "It's that time of the year when people are really reluctant
to leave the sidelines. And there has been no catalyst to push
prices either way," said a Hong Kong-based precious metals
    "From a positioning standpoint, people have already
exhausted on the downside. We could possibly end higher for the
year from current levels."
    Spot gold was unchanged at $1,244.50 an ounce by 0751
GMT. Silver, platinum and palladium were all trading higher. 
    The next big push for prices could be in early December when
U.S. nonfarm payroll data is expected. 
    Economic data has become a significant driver of gold prices
as the outlook for U.S. monetary stimulus depends on the
strength of the recovery.
    The $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by the U.S.
Federal Reserve have burnished gold's appeal as an inflation
    Buying from China, set to become the world's biggest
consumer of gold this year, picked up this week as prices
continued to be under pressure. 
    On Thursday, traded volumes of 99.99 percent purity gold on
the Shanghai Gold Exchange hit their highest in seven weeks. 
    Volumes for the week at the Friday close were the highest
since the last week of September. 
    PRICES AT 0751 GMT    
 Metal               Last      Change   Pct chg  YTD pct chg
 Spot gold             1244.5     0.96     0.08           -25.68
 Spot silver             19.8     0.11     0.56           -34.61
 Spot platinum        1364.74     9.34     0.69           -11.09
 Spot palladium        720.47     4.27      0.6             4.11
 Comex gold Dec3       1245.2      7.4      0.6            -25.7
 Comex silver Dec3     19.825    0.192     0.98           -34.59
 Euro                   1.361                                   
 DXY                   80.546                                   
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 (Editing by Ed Davies, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Subhranshu
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