Gold around two-week high as shares drop on Japan recession

London (Nov 17)   Gold held near a two-week high on Monday as global shares fell after data showed Japan had slipped into recession, raising concerns about global growth, but strength in the dollar kept the metal's gains in check.

 Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,188.00 an ounce by 1049 GMT after peaking at $1,193.95, the highest since Oct. 31. The metal jumped 2.3 percent on Friday, moving above the key technical level of $1,180.

"Friday's bounce has eased some nerves, and some of gold's internal supply-and-demand fundamentals actually look pretty strong. But to most investors that matters little while the bearish external factors such as the stronger dollar remain such a heavy weight," Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner said.

 The dollar was up 0.3 percent against a basket of currencies, mostly helped by a seven-year low in the yen after data showed Japan's economy unexpectedly sank into recession.