* Gold rebounds after Thursday's 1.4 pct drop
* U.S. retail sales disappoint
(Updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK
By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 15 Gold rose nearly 2
percent on Friday, after dropping for four of the past five
sessions, as a weaker dollar and falling equity markets
underpinned demand for assets perceived as safer.
Oil prices dove below $29 a barrel, dragging major equity
indices around the world sharply lower, as fears of a global
slowdown amid a crude supply glut roiled markets and unsettled
"You have pockets of risk aversion generating defensive bids
in gold, but then physical buying drops away and if there's an
uptick in equities, gold falls back," ICBC Standard Bank analyst
Tom Kendall said.
Spot gold rose 1.8 percent to a session high of
$1,097.20 an ounce and was up 1.1 percent at $1,089.40 at 2:11
p.m. EST (1911 GMT). U.S. gold futures for February
delivery settled up 1.6 percent at $1,090.70 an ounce.
"We have had a good start to the year, with prices trying to
consolidate into a higher range between $1,080 and $1,100,"
ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa said.
Bullion hit a two-month high of $1,112 last week as
volatility in Chinese stocks raised concerns about the state of
the global economy, leaving investors looking for a refuge in
gold and other safe havens.
The metal was boosted by a weaker dollar, which fell
0.5 percent against a basket of leading currencies, extending
losses after weaker-than-expected U.S. data and making gold
cheaper for foreign currency holders.
U.S. retail sales and industrial production fell in
December, the latest indication that economic growth braked
sharply in the fourth quarter.
"The gold price has moved higher as a consequence which has
also been dragging along the rest of the (precious group)," said
Guillermo Perez-Santalla of Heraeus Metal Management in a note,
adding that the move was "unconvincing."
He added that investment managers did not appear persuaded
that the turn around in precious metals prices was here to
The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New
York-listed SPDR Gold Shares, reported steady holdings on
Thursday, keeping its total inflow for the year at 11.7 tonnes.
Silver was up 0.6 percent at $13.92 an ounce, but
palladium fell 0.5 percent to $488.38 an ounce, heading
for a second week of declines after a 12-percent slide last
week. Platinum fell 1.1 percent to $822.54 and was on
track to close the week down nearly 6 percent.
(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing
by Katharine Houreld and Meredith Mazzilli)