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Gold steady before EU summit

Singapore, October 25, 2011

Gold prices held steady on Tuesday, as investors wait for European leaders to work out a strategy to solve the euro zone debt crisis at a meeting on Wednesday, while resilient physical demand from Asia also lent support.

Investors grew confident after a weekend European Union summit made some progress towards an agreement on how to contain the debt crisis, even though the final decision was deferred to a second summit on Wednesday.

'The market is very quiet as everyone is waiting for the European solution tomorrow,' said Ronald Leung, a physical dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong, adding that a disappointing outcome could trigger a sell-off in gold and other assets.

He cautioned that even if Wednesday's meeting produced a comprehensive plan, Europe will not be out of the woods any time soon due to the size of the crisis.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,650.99 an ounce by 0247 GMT, after rising 2 percent over the past two sessions.

US gold traded nearly flat at $1,652.90.

Technical analysis suggests that spot gold will retrace to $1,635 per ounce after it failed to break a resistance at $1,659, Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said.

Physical demand resilient 

Physical buying has subsided from a rush at the end of September when prices sank well below $1,600, but seasonal demand remained resilient in Asia.

India is to celebrate Diwali, an important Hindu festival  on Wednesday. Gold buying in the top consumer of the precious metal rises in the last three months of the year, a traditional time for festivals and weddings.

Gold premiums in Hong Kong held steady around $2 an ounce above spot prices, and in Singapore around $1.5, dealers said.

'We still don't have spare stocks and clients need to pre-book orders,' said a Singapore-based dealer, expecting demand to remain strong due to India's ongoing festival season and robust demand elsewhere.

Buying interest from Thailand has slowed, as the worst flooding in 50 years in the country disrupted businesses and affected lives of millions, she added.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, gained about half a percent to 1,233.564 tonnes by Oct. 24, after standing unchanged throughout last week.

China's imports of platinum group metals jumped in September. Palladium imports climbed 22 per cent on the year to 2,637 kilograms, while platinum imports soared 138 percent from a year earlier to 7,832 kgs, official trade data showed.

Spot platinum gained 0.6 per cent to $1,547.74 an ounce, on course for a third consecutive session of gains.

Spot palladium rose 0.7 per cent to $640.00. – Reuters




Tags: Gold | Singapore | Asia | Euro zone | Diwali | Europe debt |

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