* Gold may revisit low of $1,439.74-technicals
* Promising U.S. data dampens speculation Fed may boost
* Coming Up: Euro zone retail sales; 0900 GMT
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, May 6 (Reuters) - Gold neared its highest level
in more than two weeks on Monday, but gains may be capped by a
rally in equity markets and promising U.S. jobs data that
dampened speculation the Federal Reserve may boost monetary
Bullion has slipped almost 12 percent so far this year,
having posted annual gains in the past 12 consecutive years as
easy monetary policy prompted investors to buy the precious
metal to hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties.
Gold rose $7.05 an ounce to $1477.25 by 0624 GMT due
to a stronger euro. It hit a high of $1,487.80 on Friday, its
highest since April 15, on safe-haven buying spurred by a cut in
interest rates by the European Central Bank and the Fed's
decision to stick to its stimulus programme.
"The market is trying to test $1,487 and it has been tested
twice. That might be the reason why the market is pushing up. On
the other hand we have a slight improvement in funds holding of
gold," said Joyce Liu, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures,
referring to a report from the Commodity Futures Trading
"If you look at the technicals, gold is still in an upward
correction. For it to go into the bull territory, we at least
need to break $1,530. For me to confidently call it an upward
trend, it needs to break $1,590. We are quite some way off."
U.S. gold for June delivery was at $1,476.90 an
ounce, up $12.70.
Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish bets
in gold futures and options in the week to April 30 as the price
of the precious metal rallied 4.5 percent during the period, a
report by the CFTC showed on Friday.
But daily outflows on exchange-traded funds indicated
investors were still jittery after gold's historic decline in
mid-April, when it plunged more than $200 over two days.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.34 percent to
1,065.61 tonnes on Friday -- their lowest since September 2009.
Stocks rose in Asia on Monday as investors gave the thumbs
up to an upbeat U.S. labour force report that sent Wall Street
to an all-time closing high last week, while the euro held
steady against the dollar.
U.S. employment rose at a faster pace than expected in April
and hiring was much stronger than previously thought in the
prior two months, denting speculation the Fed may boost monetary
In the physical bullion market, purchases were mostly driven
by worries that prices could rise again, having recovered more
than $150 since hitting a 2-year trough in April.
But dealers also noted an increase in demand from No.2
consumer China as Shanghai gold futures fetched
premiums of more than $10 an ounce to U.S. futures or cash gold,
making it cheaper to buy the metal from the overseas market.
"There's a bit of buying after the weekend. You can say
supply in the physical market has yet to return to normal," said
a dealer in Hong Kong.
"There's short covering, but I think there's some sort of
hesitation whenever prices approach $1,500."
A surge in physical buying in Asia and other parts of the
world plucked gold prices from recent lows, leading to a
shortage of gold bars, coins and nuggets in Hong Kong, Singapore
Precious metals prices 0624 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1477.25 7.05 +0.48 -11.78
Spot Silver 24.24 0.16 +0.66 -19.95
Spot Platinum 1498.88 2.88 +0.19 -2.35
Spot Palladium 691.97 1.47 +0.21 0.00
COMEX GOLD JUN3 1476.90 12.70 +0.87 -11.87 16286
COMEX SILVER JUL3 24.23 0.22 +0.90 -19.85 5251
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Editing by Himani Sarkar)