PRECIOUS-Gold drops to 6-week low on euro recession fears
* Poor euro zone data stirs new recession fears
* French, German economies both shrank late 2012
* Global gold demand down 4 pct last year at 4,405 T-WGC
(New throughout, changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON) NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Gold fell to a six-week low on Thursday on renewed economic worries over the euro zone, which weighed down on bullion's inflation-hedge appeal. The metal fell around 0.5 percent after data suggested the euro zone slipped deeper than expected into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank late last year. A report by trade group World Gold Council showing gold demand fell for the first time last year since 2009 also hurt bullion investor sentiment. Bullion, used by investors as a hedge against money printing U.S. jobs and housing markets. "The correlation across the asset classes have been breaking down as of late. There are lots of asset rotation and chatter about currency wars, so gold is a bit of a side show right now," said Axel Merk, chief investment officer of Merk Funds which manages $630 million in mutual fund assets. Gold dropped 0.4 percent to $1,635.60 an ounce by 1:12 p.m. EST (1812 GMT), having earlier hit $1,633.19, which marked the lowest price since Jan. 4. U.S. COMEX gold futures for April delivery were down $9.20 to $1,635.90 an ounce, with trading volume in line to finish near its 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. Global gold demand fell last year for the first time in three years, down 4 percent to 4,405 tonnes, as jewellery buying abated in the key Indian and Chinese markets and U.S. and European coin and bar investment dropped, the World Gold Council said in a report. Silver fell 1.4 percent to $30.29 an ounce, after it fell below technical support at its 200-day average. Among platinum group metals, platinum was down 0.5 percent to $1,709.49, while palladium eased 0.4 percent to $762.22, having risen to a 17-month high at $775 in the previous session.
Prices at 1:12 p.m. EST (1812 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG US gold 1635.90 -9.20 -0.6% -2.4% US silver 30.295 -0.574 -1.9% 0.2% US platinum 1713.80 -15.80 -0.9% 11.4% US palladium 765.00 -7.05 -0.9% 8.8%Gold 1635.60 -6.76 -0.4% -2.3% Silver 30.29 -0.44 -1.4% -0.1% Platinum 1709.49 -8.50 -0.5% 11.2% Palladium 762.22 -3.00 -0.4% 8.6%Gold Fix 1646.00 2.00 0.1% -1.1% Silver Fix 30.88 -15.50 -0.5% 3.1% Platinum Fix 1724.00 2.00 0.1% 13.2% Palladium Fix 770.00 3.00 0.4% 10.2%
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)