PRECIOUS-Gold breaks above $1,400 on weak U.S. durable goods data
* Gold hits 11-week high of $1,406.01
* Bullion seen vulnerable for pullback after rallies
* Top gold-backed fund sees biggest 1-day inflow in a year
* Coming up: U.S. S&P home prices index, consumer confidence Tues
(Adds analyst's comment, technical view, second byline, dateline, updates market activity) NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to an 11-week high on Monday after a surprisingly weak report on U.S. durable goods boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve will maintain its bond-buying to prolong economic stimulus. The metal breached $1,400 for the first time since June 7 after data showed orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods recorded their biggest drop in nearly a year in July, while a gauge of planned business spending on capital goods also tumbled. Monday's reports fed into an increasingly negative economic picture and followed data for July industrial production, housing starts and new home sales that have suggested growth this quarter will probably not accelerate as much as economists had hoped. Gold has now rallied over $200 since the end of June when prices hit three-year lows. Recent disappointing U.S. economic data added to confusion over when the Fed may curb its bond-buying stimulus, which has kept U.S. interest rates near record lows and increased the allure of hard assets. Some analysts say gold is due for a pullback after rising about 10 percent in the past three weeks. "The gains were mainly from short covering. If gold can't convincingly break above $1,400, we may see profit taking," said Howard Wen, metals analyst at HSBC. Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to stand at $1,400.61 an ounce at 3:38 PM EDT (1938 GMT), having earlier peaked at $1,406.10. U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled down $2.70 at $1,393.10 an ounce. Trading volume was down about 50 percent from the 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. The London market was shut Monday for the Bank Holiday.
BIGGEST ETF INFLOW IN 12 MONTHS As a gauge of investment demand, holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 6.61 tonnes to 920.13 tonnes on Friday, the ETF's biggest one-day inflow in percentage terms in a year. On charts, gold's break above $1,400 and bullish price patterns suggest more gains are in store for the precious metal which may have bottomed out two months ago, technical analysts said.
Private investors were sellers of gold and silver in the last several months, according to online precious metals market BullionVault. Sellers in gold exceeded buyers by 22 percent in the three months from May to July, while U.S. gold sellers exceeded buyers vice president at BullionVault. Among other precious metals, silver rose 1 percent to $24.22 an ounce. Platinum was up 0.6 percent to $1,542.49 an ounce, while palladium fell 0.7 percent to $743.72 an ounce.
3:38 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1393.10 -2.70 -0.2 1388.40 1407.00 95,414 US Silver SEP 24.010 0.272 1.1 23.800 24.425 54,796 US Plat OCT 1544.50 2.90 0.2 1531.10 1550.80 6,204 US Pall SEP 746.05 -4.80 -0.6 743.10 755.00 7,561 Gold 1400.61 4.17 0.3 1390.23 1406.01 Silver 24.220 0.230 1.0 23.900 24.400 Platinum 1542.49 9.29 0.6 1534.50 1547.00 Palladium 743.72 -5.24 -0.7 747.00 753.00 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 100,158 181,859 190,211 24.99 2.48 US Silver 77,075 54,053 53,242 32.41 0.79 US Platinum 6,358 9,134 12,491 20.62 0.06 US Palladium 14,228 4,687 5,313
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; editing by Keiron Henderson and Alden Bentley)