MCX Bullions, Metals, Energy Updates and Tips Today

Gold inched up on Monday, bouncing from a one-week low hit on Friday, supported by physical buying in Asia, but robust U.S. economic data dented bullion's safe-haven appeal. Automatic spending cuts that kicked off in the United States on Friday, pushing spot gold to its lowest level in more than a week, also continued to weigh. Recent weakness in the global market has triggered physical buying interest in Asia, particularly in China, as the spread between onshore prices and international prices widens, cushioning the fall in dollar-priced gold. The exodus of investment from the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, continued. Its holdings fell to a seven-month low of 1,254.885 tonnes on Friday, in a ninth consecutive session of decline. The overall improving outlook for the global economy has boosted risk appetite and pulled investors to higher-yielding assets such as equities.

• Base—Metals
Copper rose on Monday, rebounding from three-month lows hit in the previous session, but gains were kept in check by a political stalemate in the United States and Italy, and by plans in top consumer China for tighter property sector controls. China, which accounts for 40 percent of refined copper demand, could increase required down payments and loan rates for buyers of second homes in cities where prices are rising too quickly, in its latest move to contain housing costs. Copper is used extensively for both wiring and building houses. Investors also had to contend with the aftermath of an inconclusive election in Italy that has cast doubt on the euro zone's austerity-led solution to its debt crisis, and with U.S. spending cuts that threaten to dampen growth in the world's largest economy. Also weighing, data on Sunday showed growth in China's services sector expanded at its slowest pace in five months in February. Last week, meanwhile, data showed China's factory growth cooled to multi-month lows in February. 

• Energy
U.S. crude oil hit its lowest level in 2013 and settled down for a third straight session on Monday on signs of an over-supplied market and slowing China growth, while gold fell as demand waned for bullion-backed exchange-traded funds. U.S. crude oil futures fell in reaction to slowing growth in China and evidence of rising crude stockpiles in the United States. China reported over the weekend that its services sector expanded at the slowest pace in five months in February, and factory growth also cooled to multi-month lows. In the United States, automatic government spending cuts, known as the "sequester," were triggered on Friday as lawmakers failed to agree on a resolution to prevent them. According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. spending cuts could cost the world's biggest oil consumer about 0.5 percent of its economic growth, a factor that could weigh on global oil demand.


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