PRECIOUS-Gold Edges Down, Falling ETFs Sap Interest

SINGAPORE, April 25 (Reuters) – Gold inched lower on Thursday, hovering below a 1-week high hit earlier this week, as firm equities sapped interest in the precious metal, which has seen steady outflows on exchange-traded funds.

Gold shrugged off news the Russian Federation raised its gold reserve for a fifth straight month in March and Turkey added to its holdings for a fourth month.

* Spot gold fell $2.14 an ounce to $1,428.66 by 0045 GMT. Gold sank a combined $225 on April 12 and 15 in a sell-off that surprised ardent gold investors and bulls.

* U.S. gold was at $1,428.10 an ounce, up $4.40.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.38 percent to 1092.98 tonnes on Wednesday from 1097.19 tonnes on Tuesday. The current holdings are at multi-year lows.

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Market Report, “United Kingdom Power Report Q2 2013″, published

Energy is a topical issue in the UK, as the government faces a growing energy deficit. Following the publication of an energy bill in late 2012, the government is placing an increased emphasis on the role of gas in electricity generation.

This was underlined with the news that Cockenzie coal-fired power station in Scotland closed in March 2013, and there are plans – as yet undefined – to construct a gasfired power station in its place. The issue of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas has stayed in the headlines, with mixed opinions from the government, industry and the public about its viability.

The UK has also underlined its commitment to nuclear energy as a source of electricity, and EDF is expected to sign a power purchase agreement with the government in March 2013, meaning the UK will be the first developed market to construct a nuclear power station since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011.

The government reaffirmed its support of nuclear sources of power by signing of a document, along with 11 other EU states, stating that nuclear power has a role to play in a low-carbon European future. We are less optimistic about the appeal of investing in nuclear power in the UK, with current politics on the issue reflecting a tug of war between the priorities of the two coalition partners.
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