PRECIOUS-Gold climbs for 4th day, SPDR holdings rise
* SPDR sees inflows of 1.8 tonnes, 1st since June 10
* Gold could rise towards $1,356 -technicals
* China H1 gold consumption jumps 54 pct
(Adds comment, updates prices) SINGAPORE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Gold climbed more than 1 percent on Monday to its highest in nearly two weeks on soft U.S. data and as holdings in the world's biggest gold exchange-traded fund rose for the first time in two months. Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust grew 0.2 percent to 911.13 tonnes on Friday - the first increase since June 10. The fund has seen over 14 million ounces in outflows this year, about $19 billion at current prices. Outflows from ETFs have had a big impact on gold, which has lost about 20 percent of its value in 2013. Investors have been exiting gold in favour of higher-yielding stocks as the metal's safe-haven appeal has been dented by a recovering U.S. economy. Talk of a pullback in U.S. stimulus measures has also hurt bullion. "The inflows into SPDR are good news," said a trader in Hong Kong. "The fund tends to have an impact on prices because of its size. But I don't think (inflows) will persist as fundamentals for gold are still negative." Spot gold had gained 1.2 percent to $1,329.74 an ounce by 0408 GMT. It hit $1,333.31 earlier - its highest this month. Silver rose 2.2 percent, while platinum touched fresh two-month highs. Gold's sharp jump was in part due to some technical buying after prices broke through resistance around $1,320, traders said. Spot gold is expected to test further resistance at $1,336, with a good chance of breaking through that and rising towards $1,356, said Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao.
Gold has also been boosted by data showing U.S. wholesale inventories fell unexpectedly for a second straight month in June, prompting economists to trim their second-quarter economic growth estimates. Investors are watching economic data to gauge when the Federal Reserve will begin reducing its commodity-friendly stimulus measures. Weak data could prompt the U.S. central bank to hold back on the cuts.
CHINA DEMAND China's gold consumption jumped to 706.36 tonnes in the first half of the year, compared with 832.18 tonnes in the whole of 2012, the China Gold Association said on Monday. Gold's decline after 12 annual gains has released pent-up demand across the world for jewellery, bars and coins. China is expected to overtake India as the world's biggest gold consumer this year, with India taking steps to limit imports and reduce its trade deficit.
Precious metals prices 0408 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1329.74 15.74 +1.20 -20.59 Spot Silver 21.03 0.50 +2.44 -30.55 Spot Platinum 1501.49 1.99 +0.13 -2.18 Spot Palladium 742.47 2.97 +0.40 7.29 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1329.20 17.00 +1.30 -20.68 24252 COMEX SILVER SEP3 21.02 0.61 +2.98 -30.66 13997 Euro/Dollar 1.3324 Dollar/Yen 96.49
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi)