PRECIOUS-Gold edges up
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher in a see-saw
session on Thursday as weak U.S. economic data and a key
weekened vote in Greece prompted bullion investors to cautiously
add bullish bets.
Some investors sought refuge in gold as Spain and Italy, two
large euro-zone economies plagued by debt problems, on Thursday
promised new measures to fix their public finances as soaring
borrowing costs raised new alarms.
Gold drew support from U.S. data showing that new claims for
jobless benefits rose and consumer prices fell in May. That data
was seen as opening the door wider for the Federal Reserve at
its policy meeting next week to help an economy that appears to
"The data out this morning re-ignited the possibility of
further U.S. easing, and that's supportive to gold. The market
has been characterized with a lot of volatility due to market
speculations about Federal Reserve monetary easing," said James
Steel, metals analyst at HSBC.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,619.60 an ounce by
12:40 p.m. EDT (1640 GMT). A higher finish on Thursday would
extend the metal's winning streak to a fifth consecutive day.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for August delivery climbed
$1.20 to $1,620.60.
Spot gold's volatility was magnified by active trading in
the U.S. gold futures as markets positioned themselves ahead of
an election in Greece on Sunday, dealers said. The election
could lead to Athen's exit from euro zone and to reverse a
previously agreed 130-billion-euro bailout, which would likely
dent gold's inflation-hedge appeal.
Gold has gained nearly 2 percent so far this week,
underpinned by the speculation the Federal Reserve would unveil
a new asset-purchase program, known as quantitative easing,
after Wednesday's weak retail and wholesale inflation data.
The metal had rallied as much as 15 percent after the Fed in
January said it would keep rates near zero until at least late
2014, but gold has since tumbled several times after Fed
Chairman Ben Bernanke did not mention further easing in his
Bullion's investment-hedge appeal also improved after a $125
million European bailout on debt-stricken Spanish banks earlier
this week should provide markets with additional liquidity.
Among other precious metals, silver was down 1.3
percent at $28.56 an ounce, while spot platinum rose 1.5
percent to $1,481.74 an ounce and spot palladium gained 2
percent to $629.47 an ounce.
Prices at 12:40 p.m. EDT (1640 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
US gold 1620.60 1.20 0.1% 3.4%
US silver 28.555 -0.386 -1.3% 2.3%
US platinum 1485.00 18.20 1.2% 6.1%
US palladium 633.05 9.75 1.6% -3.5%
Gold 1619.60 2.52 0.2% 3.6%
Silver 28.56 -0.37 -1.3% 3.1%
Platinum 1481.74 22.26 1.5% 6.4%
Palladium 629.47 12.14 2.0% -3.5%
Gold Fix 1613.50 -5.50 -0.3% 2.5%
Silver Fix 28.88 1.00 0.0% 2.5%
Platinum Fix 1485.00 0.00 0.0% 7.5%
Palladium Fix 624.50 2.50 0.4% -1.8%
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