* Gold up as Wall St climbs for 2nd day, dollar rises * Upbeat US jobs, factory data, Fed survey paint bright outlook * South Korea's central bank buys 20 tonnes of gold in Feb. * Coming up: US jobless claims and productivity Thursday By Frank Tang and Natalie Huet NEW YORK/LONDON, March 6 Gold rose on Wednesday, but analysts expect the breakout in Wall Street stocks to new highs and data showing an improving U.S. economy to pressure the precious metal's safe-haven appeal. News of another gold purchase by South Korea's central bank last month and hopes that outflow in gold-backed exchange-traded funds will peter out soon gave support. Bullion has now risen for a second day after its four-session losing streak. The U.S. equities market resumed its climb into uncharted territory, with the Dow setting an intraday record for a second session on encouraging jobs and factory data. An extensive survey by the Federal Reserve's regional branches showing continued economic growth in January also boosted the stock market. "You are going to get less people interested in defensive plays like the precious metals. People are more into buying equities in a risk-on type environment," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker at futures brokerage RJ O'Brien. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,580.70 an ounce by 2:42 p.m. EST (1942 GMT), moving in a narrow range of less than $20. Bullion prices are down nearly 6 percent so far this year and down about 18 percent from a record high of $1,920.30 an ounce hit in September 2011. U.S. COMEX gold futures for April delivery settled unchanged from Tuesday's close at $1,574.90, with trading volume about 20 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. The metal reversed early losses and appeared to find support near Friday's low at around $1,565. Gold was underpinned as deflationary worries eased after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to keep federal funds flowing to government agencies through Sept. 30, seeking to avert shutdowns that otherwise would begin on March 27 when current funding expires. Bullion rebounded into the headwind of a strong dollar, which benefited from a falling euro on speculation about future interest-rate cuts a day before a European Central Bank policy-setting meeting. The ECB, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are all expected to stick to ultra-easy monetary policy at meetings on Thursday, following assurances by Federal Reserve officials that their stimulus program remains in place. Silver rose 0.8 percent to $28.90 an ounce. SOUTH KOREA BUYS GOLD Official-sector gold buying this year has helped offset lackluster investor interest. South Korea's central bank bought 20 tonnes of gold in February in the fifth purchase of the metal in less than two years, taking total holdings to 104.4 tonnes. But continued outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds underscored sober investor sentiment for the metal. Bullion holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold ETF, fell for an 11th session on Tuesday to a 16-month low of 1,244.855 tonnes. Among other precious metals, platinum eased 0.4 percent to $1,579.99 an ounce, while palladium gained 1.3 percent to $742.72 an ounce. 2:42 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold APR 1574.90 0.00 0.0 1566.40 1584.30 154,258 US Silver MAY 28.803 0.199 0.7 28.520 29.140 35,617 US Plat APR 1579.80 -5.90 -0.4 1574.50 1603.00 10,469 US Pall JUN 740.05 5.45 0.7 737.55 746.70 3,162 Gold 1580.70 5.64 0.4 1568.23 1584.40 Silver 28.900 0.240 0.8 28.590 29.060 Platinum 1579.99 -5.76 -0.4 1579.25 1600.25 Palladium 742.72 9.25 1.3 738.50 743.00 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 168,276 203,578 175,860 14.74 -0.39 US Silver 38,306 64,311 52,920 23.47 -0.41 US Platinum 10,773 13,553 10,852 18.93 0.58 US Palladium 3,534 9,054 5,263
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