June 24, 2013 / 12:37 AM / 4 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up after biggest weekly fall in two years

SINGAPORE, June 24 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on Monday
after a tumultuous week that saw prices drop the most in nearly
two years on fears of an early end to the Federal Reserve's bond
purchases and a cash crunch in China. 

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold gained 0.07 percent to $1,297.66 an ounce
by 0018 GMT. It rose over 1 percent on Friday but recorded its
worst weekly performance - down 7 percent - since September
2011. 
    * Comex gold rose about $5 to $1,297.30.
    * Markets were roiled last week after Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke laid out a strategy for the U.S. central
bank to start scaling back its $85 billion monthly bond buying
program.
    * St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard on
Friday said neither the central bank's own economic growth
forecasts nor its expectations for continued weak inflation
supported a decision to dial back bond purchases.
 
    * China's central bank faced down the country's cash-hungry
banks on Friday, letting interest rates again spike to
extraordinary levels of some 25 percent for some banks as it
stepped up the pressure to contain rampant informal lending.
 
    * Hedge funds and money managers slashed their bullish bets
in gold futures and options for a second consecutive week to the
lowest level in a month, a report by the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission showed on Friday. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.54 percent to
989.94 tonnes on Friday. 
    * Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc has restarted
some operations at its Grasberg mine after receiving approval
from the Indonesian government, a senior company official told
Reuters on Saturday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * The dollar index rose while the Nikkei advanced on a
weaker yen.  
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0800  Germany Ifo business climate         
    0800  Germany Ifo expectations             
    0800  Italy Consumer confidence            
    1230  U.S. Chicago National Activity Index 
    1430  U.S. Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index  

  Precious metals prices 0018 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1297.66    0.91   +0.07    -22.51
  Spot Silver        20.12    0.04   +0.20    -33.55
  Spot Platinum    1372.75   -2.75   -0.20    -10.57
  Spot Palladium    672.75   -0.25   -0.04     -2.78
  COMEX GOLD AUG3  1297.30    5.30   +0.41    -22.59         3583
  COMEX SILVER JUL3  0.20    0.00   +0.61    -99.34          858
  Euro/Dollar       1.3107
  Dollar/Yen         98.21
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
    

 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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