PRECIOUS-Gold eases as well-received U.S. data lifts dollar
* Gold edges down after U.S. housing, confidence data
* Largest physical gold fund reports 4.2 T outflow
* Silver, platinum, palladium outperform
(Releads, updates prices, adds comments)
LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Tuesday as positive U.S. housing and consumer confidence data lifted the dollar, and as speculation that the Federal Reserve is set to wind down its monetary stimulus programme further weighed on prices.
The metal rose in choppy trade earlier in the day after comments on liquidity from China's central bank arrested a slide in the broader financial markets, but it underperformed other assets as concerns over Fed policy lingered.
Gold remains on track for its biggest quarterly loss in more than 30 years after the Fed gave the clearest signal yet that it plans to taper its $85 billion monthly bond-buying programme.
Spot gold was down 0.7 percent at $1,272.90 an ounce at 1427 GMT, off an earlier high of $1,288.80. It continued to underperform other precious metals, oil and copper.
"Gold seems to have lost some of its bounce," Sharps Pixley chief executive Ross Norman said. "You're not seeing it push back much after selling. When we do get good news, the moves are tentative.
"We've also had a raft of forecasts out today which are not good for gold," he added.
Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank all cut their gold forecasts this morning, after similar moves earlier in the week from HSBC, Goldman Sachs and UBS.
Credit Suisse cut its gold price forecast for 2013 to $1,400 an ounce from $1,580 an ounce, while Deutsche Bank cut its price view by 6.8 percent to $1,428 an ounce and Morgan Stanley reduced its forecast to $1,313 from $1,409.
"The recent increase in U.S. yields has shown that at some point in the not-too-distant future it is probable that the Fed will begin the long process of normalizing monetary policy," Credit Suisse said in a note. "In a world of higher rates, the opportunity cost of holding zero coupon gold is increasingly likely to become an issue.
"With the need for tail risk protection and the need for inflation protection substantially reduced, it remains hard to see where the marginal buyer for gold will come from."
DOLLAR CLIMBS AFTER U.S. DATA
The Fed's quantitative easing measures, put in place to stimulate growth, have helped to drive gold to record highs in recent years by keeping interest rates low while stoking inflation fears. Reducing those measures is likely to hurt gold.
The dollar index climbed on Tuesday after data showed U.S. consumer confidence jumped in June to its highest level in more than five years, while sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose to their highest level in nearly five years in May.
Investor appetite for bullion has faded, with the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund - New York's SPDR Gold Trust - reporting another 4.2 tonne outflow on Monday.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down $4.00 an ounce at $1,273.10.
Silver was down 0.4 percent at $19.57 an ounce. Spot platinum was up 1.1 percent at $1,342.74 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 0.7 percent at $663.47 an ounce.
(Editing by James Jukwey and David Goodman)