GO
Loading...

PRECIOUS-Gold rises on Ukraine worries, weaker U.S. equities

* Bullion ends week up 0.5 pct for third weekly rise in 4

* U.S., Europe prepare more sanctions against Russia

* No resolution after S.Africa producers' settlement offer

* Coming up: U.S. pending home sales Monday

(Adds second comment, second byline, dateline, updates market activities) NEW YORK/LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Gold rose to close at $1,300 an ounce on Friday, extending the previous day's sharp reversal from a 2-1/2 month low, as violence in Ukraine boosted bullion's safe-haven appeal, and weakness in equity markets also supported gold. For the week, gold was up 0.5 percent, its third weekly rise in four weeks. "Today's move in gold is driven by risk-off sentiment. Technical buying, a stronger euro/dollar have also helped give some support to prices," HSBC analyst Howard Wen said. The United States said it was prepared to impose further targeted sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine and that European leaders had agreed to coordinate on steps to make Moscow pay. The crisis escalated when armed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern city of Slaviansk seized a bus carrying international mediators. On Thursday, Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels, prompting Russia to begin army drills near the border. Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,300.74 by 3:01 p.m. EDT (1901 GMT). On Thursday, it hit a 2-1/2 month low of $1,268.24 on stronger equities before reversing higher on escalating tensions over Ukraine. U.S. COMEX gold futures for June delivery settled up $10.20 at $1,300.80 an ounce, with trading volume about 30 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. U.S. stocks fell, pulled lower by a decline in consumer discretionary stocks, as bellwether names Amazon.com and Ford Motor fell in the wake of their quarterly earnings. Gold tends to have an inverse relationship with equity markets, with investors seeking refuge from riskier assets in times of political or financial troubles. Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said stock market movements over the next few weeks, and U.S. economic data and interest rates decision remain key for the gold market's outlook. In economic data on Friday, U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April, moving to a nine-month high, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index. But the U.S. services sector expanded at a slower rate as job creation decelerated. Investors are now awaiting a policy meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve for more trading cues. Physical gold investors now digest news that India will not immediately withdraw curbs on gold imports, an official said, but it will be done in a calibrated manner. India, the second biggest consumer of gold after China, last year imposed a record 10 percent import duty on the metal. Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.1 percent to $19.62 an ounce, having dropped close to a five-month low at $18.91 an ounce in the previous session. Platinum rose 0.8 percent to $1,417.50 an ounce, palladium gained 1 percent to $806.75 an ounce. South African producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum Holdings and Lonmin said that no resolution had yet been achieved over a three-month strike relating to wages and benefits.

3:01 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold JUN 1300.80 10.20 0.8 1290.40 1305.20 100,067 US Silver MAY 19.691 0.003 0.0 19.515 19.810 54,628 US Plat JUL 1424.30 14.70 1.0 1411.10 1431.00 8,461 US Pall JUN 811.20 8.90 1.1 800.00 812.50 4,829 Gold 1300.74 7.50 0.6 1290.60 1305.00 Silver 19.620 0.020 0.1 19.550 19.770 Platinum 1417.50 11.35 0.8 1411.20 1426.50 Palladium 806.75 8.25 1.0 801.50 810.50 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 105,671 149,693 173,573 15.88 0.11 US Silver 92,361 56,417 59,957 22.22 0.08 US Platinum 8,608 11,845 12,281 16.64 -0.04 US Palladium 5,396 5,503 5,945 24.72 -4.03

(Additional reporting by Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore; Editing