SINGAPORE, Oct 15 - Gold dropped to a 2-1/2-week low on Monday, extending losses from the previous session, as investors fretted about uncertainty over Spain's bailout plan and as surprisingly good U.S. data dented interest in gold.
* Spot gold fell to a 2-1/2-week low of $1,741.25 an ounce before paring some losses to $1,743.19 as of 0048 GMT, down 0.6 percent from the previous close.
* U.S. gold lost 0.8 percent to $1,745.
* Spot silver dropped to a one-month low of $33.02.
* Hedge funds and money managers have raised their gold futures positions to their most bullish in nearly 16 months, a move traders tied to bullion's appeal as an inflation hedge amid hopes that the Federal Reserve and major central banks will keep pumping money to stimulate growth.
* But better-than-expected U.S. consumer sentiment data adding to recent encouraging signs from the economy, tempering bullion's appeal.
* Uncertainty over Spain's bailout plan remains a major concern in the market.
* China's exports grew at roughly twice the rate expected in September while imports returned to the path of expansion, suggesting government measures to underpin economic growth are working and additional policy action may not be needed for now.
* Attention will turn to China's inflation data, due at 0130 GMT, which is likely to show that annual consumer price inflation softened in September to near July's 2-1/2-year low, with producer prices set to record their steepest drop since October 2009.
* Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds slipped for the second session straight to 74.979 million ounces on Oct. 11, but were close to the record of 75.03 million ounces hit earlier last week.
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* U.S. stocks wrapped up their worst week in four months, led lower on Friday by financial shares as results from Wells Fargo and JPMorgan ignited concerns about shrinking profit margins for big lenders.
* Commodity currencies like the Australian dollar got off to a mildly positive start in Asia on Monday following an unexpectedly strong bounce in China's exports, while the euro was little changed ahead of yet another summit in the euro zone.
0130 China CPI Sep
0130 China PPI Sep
0430 Japan Industrial output Aug
1230 U.S. Retail sales Sep
1230 U.S. New York Fed Empire State Survey
1400 U.S. Business inventories Aug
Precious metals prices 0048 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1743.19 -10.56 -0.60 11.47
Spot Silver 33.18 -0.25 -0.75 19.83
Spot Platinum 1636.24 -6.36 -0.39 17.46
Spot Palladium 632.00 3.20 +0.51 -3.14
COMEX GOLD DEC2 1745.00 -14.70 -0.84 11.37 13213
COMEX SILVER DEC2 33.21 -0.46 -1.36 18.97 3428
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months