May 6, 2011 / 7:07 AM / 9 years ago

PRECIOUS-Silver bounces from 12 pct fall, gold up ahead of US jobs

 * iShares Silver Trust holdings fall to 6-month low
 * Gold snaps 4-day losing streak
 * Coming up: U.S. employment, April; 1230 GMT

 (Updates prices; adds comment)	
 By Rujun Shen	
 SINGAPORE, May 6 (Reuters) - Silver rebounded on Friday from
its biggest one-day dollar fall since 1980, and gold also
recovered as cheaper prices lured in Asian investors keeping a
wary eye on U.S. employment data due later in the day.	
 Buyers are taking advantage of a fall in spot gold of more
than $100 from a record high in just four days and spot silver
that has shed 30 percent from a record of $49.51 hit on April
 Spot silver slumped by 12 percent on Thursday after another
margin hike by the CME Group on its COMEX silver futures
increased the cost of the trading the metal, dragging gold down
3 percent and triggering a brutal sell-off that sent commodities
from oil to copper sharply lower.	
 "Prices have dropped so much over the past few days and
bargain hunters are in," said Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip
Futures, adding that the weak outlook for U.S. employment data
helped add to the lure of gold.	
 Spot silver gained nearly 1 percent to $35 an ounce
by 0616 GMT, snapping a five-day losing streak. It is still on
track for a 27-percent weekly loss, its biggest since the early
 The 100-day moving average at $34.39 would lend some
support, traders said. 	
 COMEX silver SIcv1 fell more than 5 percent to $34.27 in
early trade, before regaining some ground to $35.05. It was
poised to lose 28 percent over the week in its sharpest fall
since March 1980, when an attempt by Texas oil tycoons the Hunt
brothers to corner the silver market fell apart.	
 A worse-than-expected non-farm payrolls figure, after data
on Thursday showing U.S. payroll growth eased in April, could
further fuel the commodities sell-off by deepening fears that
the world's largest economy is not out of woods yet.	
 Gold though could benefit from its status as a safe haven.	
 "Gold is a better bet than silver or oil, as losses would be
capped by its safe-haven status," said Ong of Phillip Futures.	
 The reaction of the dollar to non-farm payrolls is also
critical. The greenback was down slightly on Friday, after
rising 1.5 percent the previous day, it's biggest gain in over
six months. 	
 Investors rushing to exit the market trimmed their positions
in the iShares Silver Trust, the world's biggest silver-backed
exchange-traded fund, by more than 1 percent after a 5 percent
decline the previous day. Holdings stood at 10,268.92 tonne by
May 5, the lowest since early November. 	
 Spot gold rose by more than 1 percent to $1,486.96 an
ounce, headed for a 5-percent drop from a week earlier, its
worst week since March 2009.	
 COMEX gold GCcv1 edged up 0.4 percent to $1,487.20 an
 "From a fundamental point of view, people are really
starting to question where the U.S. economic recovery is and
whether asset prices should be at such high levels," said
Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking
Services in Sydney. 	
 "When we roll off the stimulus in June, what next? Is the
U.S. economy going to fall flat or behave itself?"	
 Precious metals prices 0616 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1486.96   15.26   +1.04      4.76
  Spot Silver        35.00    0.33   +0.95     13.42
  Spot Platinum    1790.24   31.29   +1.78      1.29
  Spot Palladium    710.72    3.64   +0.51    -11.10
  TOCOM Gold       3863.00 -224.00   -5.48      3.59       119755
  TOCOM Platinum   4687.00 -176.00   -3.62     -0.19        24497
  TOCOM Silver       90.30  -27.10  -23.08     11.48         7513
  TOCOM Palladium  1858.00 -189.00   -9.23    -11.40          586
  COMEX GOLD JUN1  1487.20    5.80   +0.39      4.63        28043
  COMEX SILVER JUL1  35.05   -1.20   -3.30     13.27        12953
  Euro/Dollar       1.4575
  Dollar/Yen         80.51
  TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce.
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months   
 (Editing by Michael Urquhart)	
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