* Rhodium extends gain, tops $1,600/oz RHOD-LON
* Bullion turns lower as share prices rally, fear subsides
* Investment outflows continue from gold ETFs (Updates with quotes, closing prices, adds NEW YORK to dateline)
By Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
NEW YORK/LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell slightly on Tuesday, relinquishing early gains as global share prices arrested their decline and overshadowed credit jitters that had previously heightened bullion’s appeal.
Investors pondering whether the economic downturn might be showing signs of stabilizing capitalized on end-user demand for auto-material rhodium, which extended recent sharp gains.
Global stocks, as measured by MSCI’s all-country index, moved into positive territory .MIWD00000PUS as Wall Street rallied, with some brighter-than-expected earnings offsetting concern about corporate profits.
“The equities market has really turned things around. I think the government is not going to be as aggressive as previously thought with the (notion of) bank nationalization,” said Rob Kurzatkowski, futures analyst at optionsXpress.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday that most U.S. banks have enough capital to keep lending, but a pile of bad debts is fostering doubts about their health and slowing a recovery. [ID:nN21535633]
Spot gold XAU= was at $881.90 an ounce at 3:09 p.m. EDT (1909 GMT), down 0.3 percent from its late Monday quote of $884.15 in New York.
U.S. gold futures for June delivery GCM9 settled down $4.80 at $882.70 an ounce on the COMEX division of New York Mercantile Exchange.
“We’ve seen a bit of a disappointing day for gold. The fact that we failed in front of $900 is a bit of a bear signal and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another move lower,” said James Moore, analyst at TheBullionDesk.com.
Physical fundamentals looked promising, however. Gold demand in India, the world’s largest bullion buyer, rose after falling last week, with trader MMTC Ltd saying it would import 9-10 tonnes this month. [ID:nDEL002814]
Autocatalyst material rhodium rose another $50 on Tuesday to $1,625 an ounce, extending stellar gains seen over the past week.
Prices have climbed nearly 40 percent since last Tuesday — albeit from lower levels — with analysts citing end-user demand in what may be a tentative signal of moderation in the economic crisis.
Analysts say expectations of higher Chinese car sales and auto industry initiatives — including Germany’s cash for clunkers scrapping scheme to encourage new car purchases — have enticed end-users to replenish stocks of the metals and investors to jump on the bandwagon.
“There’s a lot of demand out of China. I think it’s car related and chemical-catalyst related. In these small markets which are unregulated there’s also a little bit of investment demand and that’s triggering the price even further,” said Andreas Daniel, head trader at German-based Heraeus Metals.
Ruthenium RUTH-LON, used to make computer hard discs, also rose nearly 7 percent on Tuesday to $80 an ounce.
Concerns over investment demand nagged at the gold price after key gold-backed exchange-traded funds recorded outflows last week. Holdings of the world’s largest gold ETF, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), fell 21.7 tonnes last week. [GOL/SPDR]
London’s ETF Securities said its largest gold-backed exchange-traded product, Gold Bullion Securities (GBSx.L), saw an outflow of 2.3 percent in the week to Friday. [ID:nLK662885]
Among other precious metals, spot platinum XPT= was at $1,150.00 an ounce, down 0.8 percent from its late Monday quote $1,159.50, while spot palladium XPD= was at $222.00 an ounce, off 1.6 percent from its previous finish of $225.50. Silver XAG= was at $11.96 an ounce, down 0.7 percent from its previous finish $12.04. (With additional reporting by Chris Kelly and Veronica Brown; editing by Jim Marshall)