April 17, 2019 / 10:17 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near four-month low as China data lifts riskier assets

* China Q1 GDP up 6.4 pct vs analyst expectations of 6.3 pct

* Gold has fallen more than 5 pct from Feb high

* SPDR Gold holdings down 4.5 pct so far this year (Updates prices)

By Sethuraman N R

April 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Wednesday held near 4-1/2-month lows touched in the previous session as economic data from China tempered concerns about global growth, boosting risk appetite.

Spot gold was broadly steady at $1,275.77 per ounce at 1237 GMT, having fallen as much as 1.2 percent to $1,272.70, its lowest since Dec. 27, on Tuesday.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,277.80 an ounce.

“Investors are betting on the recovery of markets and that’s mostly what’s pulling gold down. The main market driver is moving from central banks to what is happening in the stock markets,” said Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst with ActivTrades.

Data showed China’s economic growth in the first quarter remained steady at 6.4 percent, beating expectations for a 6.3 percent expansion.

World stocks inched higher after a raft of Chinese data signalled Beijing’s recent stimulus drive might be paying off.

Gold prices have fallen more than 5 percent since touching a 10-month peak in February.

On the technical front, gold’s break below key support levels, including the 100- and 50-day moving averages, signalled a further downside to prices, analysts and traders said.

“From a technical point of view, the fall below $1,280 is a weak signal, with prices having already come below the 100-day moving average,” De Casa said.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to a near six-month low of 752.27 tonnes on Tuesday. Holdings are down 4.5 percent so far this year.

Further weakness in gold is possible in the near term, potentially testing the $1,259 level, which is likely to hold, Commerzbank technical analyst Karen Jones wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, silver gained 0.5 percent to $15.04 an ounce.

Spot platinum rose 1.1 percent to $886.35 per ounce, while palladium climbed 1.1 percent to $1,363.76. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by David Evans and Mark Potter)

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