TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) - Gold was flat to slightly firmer on Thursday as the Federal Reserve's vow to keep interest rates low and uncertainty over the global economy underpinned investor appetite.On Wednesday, weak U.S. housing data helped send gold to a low below $1,230 an ounce, but its recovery since then on bargain-hunting eased bearish views that gold cannot be an exception when a sell-off hits other commodities and stocks.
Spot gold XAU= was at $1,235.20 an ounce at 0237 GMT,unchanged from the notional New York close, and hovering well below Monday's record around $1,264.
Gold looks resilient to downside risk because vague fears are still hanging over markets. Visibility is low in terms of the euro and the economy, said Tetsu Emori, general manager at Tokyo-based fund manager Astmax Co.
Technically, gold is expected to revisit Wednesday's session low of $1,224.30, its lowest in more than a week, as a pullback towards the trend line could have completed.
The low was hit after a report showed sales of new U.S. Homes dropped a record 32.7 percent in May to the weakest level in at least four decades.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery GCQ0 were up 0.1 percent at $1,236 an ounce after falling $6 in the previous session in New York to $1,234.80.
After the U.S. COMEX settlement on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said at the end of a two-day policy meeting that the pace of U.S. economic recovery was faltering and renewed its vow to hold interest rates exceptionally low for an extended period.
Gold in theory benefits from low interest rates, as they keep down the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing assets such as bullion.
Oil prices are down again today, and if stock markets extend their losses later in the day, that could give gold another (litmus) test over its tolerance at a time of a market sell-off, said Emori at Astmax.Oil fell for a third day on Thursday, trading near the lowest levels since mid-June. [O/R] Japan's Nikkei share average .N225 was up 0.2 percent. [.T]
The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD.P), said its holdings stood at 1,313.135 tonnes as of June 23, unchanged from a record marked the previous business day. [GOL/SPDR]
Other precious metal prices were mixed.
Spot platinum XPT=was down 0.4 percent at $1,560.50 per ounce, but palladium XPD=was up 1 percent at $475.75.Precious metals prices at 0242 GMTMetal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg TurnoverSpot Gold 1234.90 -0.30 -0.02 12.70Spot Silver 18.53 0.08 0.43 10.10Spot Platinum 1560.50 -5.50 -0.35 6.37Spot Palladium 475.75 4.75 1.01 17.32TOCOM Gold 3582 -29.00 -0.80 9.91 31186TOCOM Platinum 4551 -60.00 -1.30 3.88 12911TOCOM Silver 54 -0.80 -1.45 4.84 206TOCOM Palladium 1390 -21.00 -1.49 19.31 218Euro/Dollar 1.2336Dollar/Yen 89.94TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce.(Editing by Chris Gallagher)