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CORRECTED-PRECIOUS-Gold down on stronger dollar, ETF outflows

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 01:50 hrs

(Corrects milestone in 16th paragraph to February 2010, not November 2009)

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings hit lowest since November 2009

* Copper, crude oil dip after weak China, euro zone data

* Gold cuts loss after fake tweet about White House bombing

By Carole Vaporean

NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Gold fell more than 1 percent on Tuesday as a stronger dollar put pressure on prices and as the outflow from the world's biggest gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) accelerated and accentuated an investor shift towards equities and other assets.

At the mid session, gold, along with markets in stocks, bonds, oil and other commodities, was roiled briefly by a bogus report of explosions at the White House. Gold pulled up off its lows on the fake report.

The early decline retraced some of gold's 1.6 percent rally from a day earlier, which was spurred by strong physical purchases.

Traders said gold prices fell to session lows in overnight dealings when the dollar firmed in reaction to weaker April manufacturing data from both China and Germany, and then lingered at the lower levels.

"I think the whole commodities space came off because of the weak PMI out of China and the weak PMI out of Europe, especially Germany," said Heraeus Precious Metals Management metals trader David Lee. "That combination is dragging everything from copper to silver to platinum and palladium down. And gold is going down in sympathy because it's part of the basket."

Gold fell 1.4 percent to a session low of $1,405.44 an ounce and had pared losses to $1,412.70 by 3:14 EDT (1914 GMT), off 0.87 percent. Gold has fallen 15 percent this year.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery were down 0.61 percent at $1,412.30 an ounce.

Shortly after 1 p.m. (1700 GMT), gold prices pulled up off their lows, U.S. government debt prices surged briefly, and stocks fell sharply after a false tweet from the Associated Press said there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama had been injured.

An Associated Press spokesman told Reuters that the Twitter message reporting two explosions in the White House was "bogus". The White House said Obama was fine.

The precious metal's retreat off the one-week high it reached a day earlier reflected investor nervousness about holding on to gold positions for long, traders said. Many gold bulls were caught by surprise a week ago when gold slid to its biggest-ever daily loss in dollar terms.

The metal was also under pressure from a strong dollar and rebounding equity markets after sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose in March, indicating the housing market recovery remains on track.

In other markets, copper fell to an 18-month low and crude oil was down nearly 1 percent as data revealed a slowdown in business activity in Germany and China in April. The figures heightened concerns over global growth.

"Gold is lower as well as other commodities, including crude oil and base metals, which fell after weaker-than-expected economic data out of China and Europe, which gave a boost to the dollar," Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

Traders were also pointing at pressure from a shift in asset allocation, while Goldman Sachs said it expected further declines in gold prices on continued ETF outflows as conviction in holding gold continues to wane.

"What we saw in the past few sessions was a lot of physical buying in the form of coins and bars but the ETF numbers are heavily down and we don't necessarily see a resurgence in demand from the ETF side any time soon," SP Angel analyst Carole Ferguson said.

SPDR HOLDINGS AT 3-1/2 YEAR LOW

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, tumbled 1.6 percent to the lowest level since February 2010 when at 35.512 million ounces. That followed daily falls of less than 1 percent in the past week.

While some physical buyers have been seeking bargains at gold's lower prices, investors are cutting exposure due to worries about central bank gold sales and prospects of an end to inflationary monetary policy.

Physical buying persisted in Asia even though spot gold has rebounded more than $100 from last week's lows of $1,321.35. Premiums for gold bars were at multi-month highs in Singapore and Hong Kong as supply tightened for coins and other products.

Among other precious metals, silver was down 1.84 percent at $22.95 an ounce, platinum lost 1.09 percent to $1,412.99 an ounce, and palladium fell 1.44 percent to $670.72 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London, Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore; Editing by Jane Baird, Helen Massy-Beresford and Peter Galloway)



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