PRECIOUS-Gold drops for fourth day on Fed taper uncertainty
* Dollar gain, rising Treasury yields pressure gold
* Physical demand in Asia remains subdued - dealers
* Johnson Matthey expects market deficit in platinum
* Coming up: U.S. Federal Budget on Wednesday
(Adds analyst comment, second byline, dateline, updates market activity) NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Gold fell 1 percent on Monday, dropping to its lowest in nearly a month, as bullion investors reduced positions on lingering fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon scale back monetary stimulus. Bullion extended its losing streak to a fourth consecutive day, while silver fell almost 3 percent. Palladium also fell sharply after a closely watched industry report forecast narrower market deficit in the autocatalyst metal. Gold has lost nearly 4 percent over the past four sessions, as last week's surprisingly strong October U.S. jobs growth data boosted speculation that the Fed will taper its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases by the end of the year. A resurgent dollar and record high in U.S. stocks also pressured bullion's safe-haven appeal, analysts said. "There is still too much uncertainty over the timing of when the Fed will taper and as such (we) think gold will remain rangebound in the coming months," TD Securities precious metals trading desk said in a note. Spot gold was down 1.1 percent at $1,268.81 by 2:12 p.m. EST (1912 GMT), having hit its lowest since Oct. 15 at $1,267.04 an ounce earlier in the session. U.S. Comex gold futures for December settled down $9.90 at $1,271.20 an ounce, with trading volume about 30 percent below its 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. The dollar climbed to a one-month peak against the yen on Tuesday expected Fed tapering, while the 10-year U.S. yield rose towards a near two-month high at 2.76 percent.
As gold pays no interest, the rise in returns from U.S. bonds and other markets is seen as negative for the metal. Silver fell 2.9 percent to $20.71 an ounce. Precious metals specialist and refiner Johnson Matthey said that strong investment and industrial demand will push the platinum market in 2013 into its biggest deficit for 14 years.
The Johnson Matthey report now estimates palladium market's deficit to narrow to 740,000 ounces in 2013 from 1.15 million ounces in 2012. Platinum was up 0.1 percent at $1,429.40 an ounce, while palladium fell 1.9 percent to $737.43 an ounce.
2:12 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1271.20 -9.90 -0.8 1268.00 1285.40 113,567 US Silver DEC 20.778 -0.504 -2.4 20.690 21.355 46,938 US Plat JAN 1439.60 7.20 0.5 1431.70 1444.50 6,431 US Pall DEC 742.35 -12.20 -1.6 738.75 753.95 4,676 Gold 1268.81 -14.01 -1.1 1269.58 1284.91 Silver 20.710 -0.620 -2.9 20.740 21.350 Platinum 1429.40 1.16 0.1 1434.00 1440.75 Palladium 737.43 -14.01 -1.9 741.75 753.50 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 127,309 189,283 23.18 -1.01 US Silver 57,832 58,610 35.14 1.70 US Platinum 6,560 12,978 20.36 0.00 US Palladium 5,244 5,806
(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by David Evans, Ron Askew and Marguerita Choy)