TOKYO, Oct 4 Gold stayed on the defensive on Thursday as investment funds were keen to li

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TOKYO, Oct 4 (Reuters) Gold stayed on the defensive on Thursday as investment funds were keen to lighten positions in commodities after this week's sell-off due to the dollar's recovery and falls in energy prices.

-- By 0040 GMT spot gold was trading at $728.50/729.20 an ounce, down from Wednesday's late New York level of $729.70/730.50.

-- Cash gold faced resistance at the 14-day moving average of around $730 and the seven-day average of about $734.

-- Gold is in a corrective phase as investors consolidate gains after a rally to a 28-year peak of $747.65 on Monday.

-- COMEX futures fell in Asia, with the most active December contract down $1.2 an ounce at $734.5 from the New York settlement. On Monday it hit a 28-year high of $755.70.

-- Gold was also undermined by the dollar's rise, falls in energy prices and falls in other commodity prices.

-- The dollar rose against the yen and the euro ahead of a closely watched US payrolls report due on Friday, which may shed light on the state of the US economy.

-- A firmer dollar makes gold costlier for other currency holders and often lowers bullion demand.

-- Gold could be losing its safe-haven appeal as portfolio managers could be shifting back to equities after seeing them rally.

-- On Wednesday US crude oil futures ended lower for the fourth day in a row as the weight of rising domestic crude oil inventories overshadowed a surprise drawdown in distillate and gasoline supplies.

-- Yet the precious metal was expected to draw strong long-term demand, with large funds continuing to stay in gold exchange-traded funds.

-- The latest data showed that gold held in New York's StreetTRACKS Gold Shares , the most popular gold-backed ETF, stayed at a record high of 578.03 tonnes. -- Japanese precious metals futures dropped in line with bullion.

-- The key August 2008 gold contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange <0JAU:> fell 5 yen or 0.2 percent to 2,759 yen per gram.

It had reached a 22-year high of 2,804 yen on Tuesday.

-- Platinum fell to $1,350/1,355 an ounce from $1,353.50/1,360.50 in New York.

-- Palladium edged down to $354/359 an ounce from $355.55/359.55 in New York.

-- Silver inched up to $13.31/13.36 an ounce from $13.29/13.34 late in New York.

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Turnover Spot Gold 728.50 1.30 +0.18 14.60 Spot Silver 13.30 0.02 +0.15 3.50 Spot Platinum 1350.00 -3.50 -0.26 19.26 Spot Palladium 354.00 -1.55 -0.44 6.63 TOCOM Gold 2760.00 -4.00 -0.14 12.88 15713 TOCOM Platinum 5016.00 9.00 +0.18 17.91 8431 TOCOM Silver 501.70 -1.70 -0.34 1.70 231 TOCOM Palladium 1356.00 35.00 +2.65 8.05 261 Euro/Dollar 1.4095 Dollar/Yen 116.69 TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except for silver which is in yen per 10 grams, spot prices in $ per ounce.

REUTERS SBA AS0640

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