Gold at $1295 on Economic Optimism

Gold extended losses to a third straight session on Monday as U.S. data pointed to strong economic growth, while platinum group metals continued to add to gains on supply worries from South African labor strikes.  Spot gold slipped 0.08 percent to $1,292.01 an ounce by 0030 GMT, while platinum gained about half a percent. Palladium rose 0.2 percent.

U.S. housing starts jumped in April and building permits hit their highest in nearly six years, offering hope the troubled housing market could be stabilizing, though another report showed that consumer sentiment fell in May.

Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish bets in gold futures and options, but raised their net longs in silver, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday.


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