Gold flat, but headed for biggest weekly loss in 2 months

SINGAPORE, Oct 12: Gold was little changed on Friday after gaining in the previous session when the dollar eased from a one-month high, although it remained on target for its biggest weekly drop in two months.
Gold has been fluctuating between $1,760 and $1,780 so far this week, with no fresh catalysts to drive it from that range, after stimulus measures by central banks pushed prices near $1,800 earlier this month.
‘There isn’t enough bad news to push gold down (very far), even though everyone expects prices to pull back in the short term, because speculative interest is too long,’ said Ronald Leung, a dealer at Lee Cheong Physical Dealers in Hong Kong.
The precious metal was supported by data showing that US jobless claims slid to the lowest level in more than four years, after last week’s nonfarm payrolls numbers showed that the unemployment rate tumbled to a near four-year low in September.
Leung and many analysts are bullish on gold over the rest of the year and into 2013, after the world’s major central banks pledged to pump more cash into the financial markets.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,769.84 an ounce by 0618 GMT, on course for a 0.6-percent weekly loss, its sharpest one-week drop in two months.
US gold traded nearly flat at $1,771.90.
Technical signals are mixed for spot gold as it is trapped in a range of $1,756.86 to $1,776, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
The dollar traded steady against a basket of currencies after sliding from a one-month high on Thursday, and the euro retained gains from the previous session after the International Monetary Fund backed giving Greece and Spain more time to reduce their budget deficits.
Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds fell for the first time in two weeks on Thursday, but were still close to a record high of 75.03 million ounces.
Festering tensions between Turkey and Syria helped boost appetite for safe-haven assets, including gold.
Trading activity in the physical market was sluggish, as jewellers and investors typically eye buying opportunities when prices move lower.
India and China, the world’s top two gold consumers, are both entering the peak consumption season, which may help boost demand in the physical market, dealers said.
‘Physical demand should improve during the rest of the year, but higher prices may slow the growth in demand,’ said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.
Spot silver edged up to $34.04, but was headed for a 1.3-percent fall this week, its biggest weekly loss in three  months.


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