LONDON Gold rose 1 percent on Monday, recovering from its biggest weekly loss since mid-March, as stock markets eased after soft Chinese data, boosting interest in the metal as an alternative asset, and the dollar weakened against the euro.
Spot gold was up 1 percent at $1,286.01 an ounce at 1342 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery were up $15.20 at $1,287.90.
The metal ended last week down 1.2 percent after a sharp midweek slide, though it rebounded 0.8 percent on Friday.
The metal is being supported by "sluggish stock markets, the U.S. dollar not really doing anything worthwhile, (and) the negative interest rate environment," MKS's head of trading Afshin Nabavi said.
"$1,285-$1,303 is a upside range in gold, but I like it here," he said.
European shares fell in subdued trade on Monday. Data from China over the weekend was less rosy, with April's retail sales, factory output and fixed-asset investment all falling short of forecasts by economists polled by Reuters. [MKTS/GLOB]
The dollar extended losses against the euro on Monday after data showed the New York Federal Reserve's Empire State index fell to its lowest since February. [FRX/]
"Gold had a better close (last week) than one would have thought a few days earlier, and it seems to be putting in quite an impressive spell," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
"I thought it might break down once we started testing below $1,270, but it didn't. That may have wrong-footed some of the people who went short."
Gold has risen 20 percent this year after weak economic data in the United States and elsewhere tempered expectations of a near-term increase in U.S. interest rates, which would lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 1.5 percent at $17.36 an ounce, platinum was up 1.2 percent at $1,059.78 and palladium was up 0.3 percent at $590.47 an ounce.
As industry participants gathered in London for Platinum Week, Johnson Matthey said the platinum market deficit was set grow this year, as demand from autocatalyst manufacturers is boosted by the implementation of new Euro 6 legislation.
Metals Focus predicted platinum's slide to seven-year lows in January marked the end of the 18-month bear cycle that saw the metal nearly halve in value, as it forecast a shortfall in supply this year.
The palladium market may need up to three years to consume its opaque above-ground stocks, according to Russia's Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of the metal.
(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)
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Published Date: May 17, 2016 12:00 am | Updated Date: May 17, 2016 12:00 am