PRECIOUS-Gold inches lower before ECB meeting

Wed Jan 9, 2013 7:43pm EST

SINGAPORE, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Gold inched lower on Thursday,
pressured by a key resistance level, as investors awaited a rate
decision by the European Central Bank at its policy meeting
later in the day.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold edged down 0.1 percent to $1,655.50 an
ounce by 0028 GMT, under the key resistance of 200-day moving
average at $1.661.05
    * U.S. gold was little changed at $1,655.40.
    * Investors will closely watch the result of the European
Central Bank's policy meeting later in the day. The bank is
expected to hold interest rates unchanged, but economists have
mixed views on the chances of a rate cut in the next few months
due to a murky economic outlook.  
    * German industrial output rose less than forecast in
November due to a sharp fall in energy and consumer goods
production, reinforcing concerns that Europe's largest economy
contracted in the fourth quarter. 
    * The Japanese economy is expected to recover a little in
2013 if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies of massive fiscal
spending, aggressive monetary easing, and a weaker yen produce
the momentum needed to lift Japan from stubborn deflation.
 
    * The dollar index inched higher, on course for its
third day of gains. A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced
commodities less affordable for buyers holding other currencies.
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    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, rebounding from two days of
losses, as investors turned their focus to the first prominent
results of the earnings season. 
    * The yen was on the defensive near a 2 1/2-year low on
Thursday on expectations Bank of Japan policy will take a fresh
and bold approach to boost inflation later this month. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0745 France  Industrial Output   November                   
 0745 France  CPI                 December                   
 1200 UK      BoE Rate Decision   January                    
 1245 EU      ECB Rate Decision                              
 1330 EU      ECB President Mario Draghi Holds News Conference
 1330 US      Weekly Jobless Claims                          
 1500 US      Wholesale Inventories  November                
      China   Exports Year on Year   December                
      China   Imports Year on Year   December                
      China   Trade balance          December                 
    
    PRICES
   
 Precious metals prices 0028 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1655.50   -1.79   -0.11     -1.14
  Spot Silver        30.31   -0.02   -0.07      0.10
  Spot Platinum    1590.25   -0.75   -0.05      3.60
  Spot Palladium    683.75    0.65   +0.10     -1.19
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1655.40   -0.10   -0.01     -1.22         1480
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.33    0.08   +0.25      0.31         1388
  Euro/Dollar       1.3053
  Dollar/Yen         88.13
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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