* Spot gold signals very mixed -technicals
* Coming Up: U.S. Jobless claims Weekly; 1230 GMT
(Updates prices, adds quotes)
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, May 9 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Thursday
after gaining more than 1 percent in the previous session,
lacking impetus to rise further as investors cut their holdings
on bullion exchange-traded funds to their lowest since early
Bullion prices have been rangebound this month, torn between
a pick up in physical demand after prices plunged to a more than
2-year low in mid April and a lack of interest from investors
who are shifting their money into equities as Wall Street gains.
Gold was 41 cents higher at $1,472.60 an ounce by
0305 GMT. It has rebounded more than $100 from its April trough,
but is still well below the psychological level of $1,500.
"Sentiment is pretty much mixed. People are not quite sure
which way we will go. There's selling on ETFs and physical
buying. I guess, we are still in range of $1,440 to $1,500,"
said Yuichi Ikemizu, branch manager for Standard Bank in Tokyo.
"As long as it is in $1,400 (range), I guess there's still
very good buying interest."
U.S. gold for June was at $1,472.10 an ounce, down
$1.60. Cash and U.S. gold futures plunged to around $1,321 on
April 16, their lowest in over two years, after worries about
central bank sales and a drop below $1,500 led to a sell-off
that stunned investors, prompting them to slash ETF holdings.
For a 24-hour gold chart analysis:
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed ETF,
said its holdings fell 0.60 percent to 1,051.47 tonnes on
Wednesday from 1057.79 tonnes on Tuesday.
The physical market was mixed in Asia, with dealers in
Singapore noting a slowdown in buying interest and those in Hong
Kong reporting a shortage in the supply of gold bars that kept
premiums at multi-month highs.
"We suspect that the pace of buying has cooled from the
frenzied pace evident last month when gold prices were about
$100 an ounce cheaper," said Edward Meir, a metals analyst at
futures brokerage INTL FCStone.
"Those sitting on the fence and waiting for cheaper prices
may yet have another shot at getting back in."
Wall Street's extended record run and a surge in Asian
shares to a near two-year peak is expected to lure investors
seeking better returns away from gold, which has shed 12 percent
so far this year after rising for the past twelve years.
In the United States, the U.S. Mint will limit dealers'
purchases of its "America the Beautiful" five-ounce silver
bullion coins when they go on sale next week, reflecting soaring
Precious metals prices 0305 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1472.60 0.41 +0.03 -12.06
Spot Silver 24.07 0.18 +0.75 -20.51
Spot Platinum 1499.99 -0.01 -0.00 -2.28
Spot Palladium 692.22 0.22 +0.03 0.03
COMEX GOLD JUN3 1472.10 -1.60 -0.11 -12.16 9746
COMEX SILVER JUL3 24.07 0.14 +0.60 -20.38 4640
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Editing by Himani Sarkar)