PRECIOUS-Gold drops on Fed tapering talk, US equities rally
* Strong Chinese export data boosts economic hopes
* Russia proposes Syria chemical weapons plan to avert war
* Gold gives back some of Friday's rally on tapering talk
* Coming up: U.S. wholesale inventory on Wednesday
(Adds analyst comment, second byline, dateline, updates market activity) NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Monday, surrendering some of the gains made in the previous session, on market expectations that the Federal Reserve may taper its monetary stimulus. Also bearish for gold was Chinese government data showing the world's second-largest economy rose more than expected in August to decrease bullion's safe-haven appeal. U.S. stocks, measured by the S&P 500 index, rose 1 percent.
Speculation that the U.S. central bank is set to trim its $85 billion monthly mortgage bond-buying program, a key supporter of bullion prices, put added pressure on gold. Analysts expect the Fed to start cutting its monthly stimulus by $10 billion to $20 billion with an announcement due at the end of a two-day policy meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) next Wednesday. "Given the unwinding of bearish positions in gold, September's meeting is likely to place downside pressure on gold," said Suki Cooper, precious metals strategist at Barclays Capital. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,386.36 an ounce U.S. Comex gold futures for December delivery settled up 20 cents an ounce at $1,386.70, with trading volume at 80,000 lots, less than half of its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. On Friday, gold gained almost 2 percent after data showed slower-than-expected U.S. job growth in August, even as the jobless rate hit a 4-1/2 year low. Gold's safe-haven status also weakened as U.S. President Barack Obama struggled to rally Congress behind U.S. military action in Syria, while Russia proposed on Monday Damascus should save itself by handing over chemical weapons.
INDIAN DEMAND, SOUTH AFRICAN STRIKE Indian jewellers expect a surge in gold shipments this week after the customs department issued new import guidelines on Wednesday. Previously imported stocks had become stuck at Mumbai airport due to a lack of clarity on rules. Gold traders are closely watching India's appetite for gold in the usually peak-demand fourth quarter after officials in the world's largest gold consumer moved to curb imports in an effort to cut its record current account deficit. Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.7 percent to $23.65 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.7 percent at $1,479 an ounce and palladium dropped 2.2 percent to $682.22 an ounce. Analysts said that easing supply worries in South Africa, which holds 80 percent of the world's platinum reserves, triggered heavy selling in platinum group metals. South Africa's Solidarity trade union said on Monday its members had accepted pay increases of 7.5 to 8 percent from the country's gold mining companies.
2:48 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1386.70 0.20 0.0 1381.90 1395.00 75,453 US Silver DEC 23.717 -0.174 -0.7 23.440 24.250 25,114 US Plat OCT 1483.00 -12.70 -0.8 1480.90 1499.40 7,123 US Pall DEC 683.00 -13.85 -2.0 682.25 701.00 3,389 Gold 1386.36 -4.52 -0.3 1382.55 1392.31 Silver 23.650 -0.170 -0.7 23.430 23.980 Platinum 1479.00 -9.90 -0.7 1484.50 1496.50 Palladium 682.22 -15.28 -2.2 684.50 697.75 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 80,038 169,542 183,262 22.1 -1.74 US Silver 27,718 67,937 58,290 35.74 -1.96 US Platinum 9,341 10,096 12,301 20.68 0.31 US Palladium 3,534 6,805 5,834
(Additional reporting by Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore; Editing