* SPDR Gold Trust holdings hit lowest since November 2009
* Copper, crude oil dip after weak China, euro zone data
* Tight supply boosts gold bar premiums in Singapore, HK
By Clara Denina
LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - Gold fell around one percent on
Tuesday after the outflow from the biggest gold exchange-traded
fund (ETF) accelerated, investors shifted towards other assets
like equities, and as a stronger dollar put pressure on prices.
The metal retreated from the previous session's one-week
high as investors were nervous about holding onto positions for
long, traders said. Gold bulls were caught out on Monday last
week when gold made its biggest-ever daily loss in dollar terms.
"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
Gold fell 1.4 percent to a session low of $1,405.44
an ounce and was seen at $1,408.81 by 1445 GMT, still down 1.1
percent. Gold has dropped around 15 percent this year.
U.S. gold futures for June delivery were down 0.9
percent to $1,408.30.
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 the combination of continued ETF
outflows as conviction in holding gold continues to wane.
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 November 2009 at 35.51 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.
The metal came under pressure earlier this month after the
European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund
asked Cyprus to sell reserves to raise around 400 million euros
($523 million) as part of a bailout deal, leading to speculation
other indebted euro zone countries could follow suit.
Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades has said,
however, that the government was not giving priority to the
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.
"The strong response from physical markets is a significant
component impacting sentiment as well as an important
reminder that this demand can offer support during times of
weakness," UBS analyst Joni Teves said.
"Nevertheless, it will take time for the market to fully
heal and for conviction to be regained."
India, the world's largest gold consumer, next month
celebrates Akshaya Tritiya, a key gold-buying festival, while
the wedding season continues until early June. Indian parents
give gold jewellery to their daughters at weddings.
Among other precious metals, silver fell 2.6 percent
to $22.85 an ounce, platinum lost 1 percent at $1,413.99
an ounce and palladium was down 1.6 percent at $669.75 an