Gold price eases, Platinum rises to 4-mth high, Palladium 17-month peak
Gold players were seen reassessing their positions after last week's mixed U.S. economic data failed to provide a clear direction for the market, analysts said.
U.S. payrolls numbers surprised to the downside, triggering a $10 jump in the metal, but these were offset by strong consumer confidence and ISM manufacturing numbers, and comments from a Federal Reserve official suggesting that monetary easing could be scaled back later this year.
"The weaker-than-expected Q4 U.S. GDP data served to prove how negative data could quickly push gold prices higher, but equally the absence of both a solid floor set by physical demand and strong investor conviction shows how quickly gains are surrendered," Barclays Capital said in a note.
"Gold is without structural support at the moment, but given speculative positioning remains relatively light, weaker-than-expected macro data could quickly spur prices higher amid global balance sheet expansion."
PLATINUM, PALLADIUM CLIMB
Platinum group metals posted hefty gains after U.S. automakers reported a 14.2 percent sales increase in January from a year earlier, with a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of sales reaching 15.29 million vehicles.
The metals are widely used in auto catalysts to clean up exhaust emissions.
Momentum picked up when major producer Amplats revealed a significant full-year loss on Monday. The company has cut its output target to 2.1-2.3 million ounces a year and has slashed capital expenditure by 11 billion rand ($1.2 billion). It plans to cut capex by 25 percent over the next decade to 100 billion rand.
Spot platinum rose as much as 1.5 percent to $1,705.25, its
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