COMEX gold bounces from lows, weak U.S. data helps


NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - COMEX gold recovered further in light trade Friday, emboldened by weak U.S. economic data before Wall Street shook off the negative news and took some of the steam out of gold's rally.

"It was a little jobby with the equity market," a bullion trader said, using market lingo for light two-way trade. "There's very little to report."

December gold settled $2.70 firmer at $313.90 an ounce, trading from $311.70 to $314.80. Gold was already recovering from its fall to a two-month low at $309.10 on Thursday, as shorts took profits and physical buying kicked in below $310.

Sept orders for durable goods fell 5.9 percent, a bigger drop than the 1.8 percent expected on Wall Street.

The market is nervous about a double dip recession and the Dow Jones industrial average initially fell on the news, driving some investors into safe-havens and helping gold extend gains posted overnight.

But with the stock market showing surprising resilience to bad news since it bottomed at five-year lows two weeks ago, gold has not had much of a chance to hold gains. The Dow was last up 106 points, and is about 1,300 points off its lows.

Solid resistance was reported around $315, protecting stop-loss buy orders that were above $315.50, which threatened to accelerate gold higher if executed.

"We opened firm anyway," said a commission house broker. "But when durables came out and stock market futures went down gold definitely popped up to that $314.60 area. So there was a little assist from durable goods."

The dollar was on defense against the euro for much of the day, and was trading late at $0.9772/76 per euro, making gold a touch cheaper for European investors in local terms.

Also, many gold longs were cleared out in the break this week and some players sold short in the move down only to get squeezed.

In its Commitments of Traders report released after the market closed Friday, the CFTC said the net noncommercial long position in gold fell again to 9,462 contracts from 15,914 contracts in the week to Tuesday.

Spot gold was quoted at $313.60/4.10, up from Thursday's close at $309.80/0.30. London dealers fixed Friday's afternoon spot reference price at $313.00.

December silver rode gold's coattails up 4.5 cents to stand at $4.407 in a $4.365-$4.425 range. Spot silver was at $4.40/42, up from $4.36/38 late Thursday. Silver fixed at $4.375.

NYMEX January platinum rose $6.60 to $586.80. Spot platinum was quoted $591/596.

December palladium rose 90 cents to $311.40, steadying above a contract low at $309 on Thursday. Spot palladium fetched $310/320.



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