PRECIOUS-Gold awaits ECB meeting, PGMs near multi-month highs

Wed Feb 6, 2013 7:53pm EST

SINGAPORE, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on
Thursday ahead of a European Central Bank meeting that could set
the tone for the euro, while platinum and palladium held near
their highest level in 17 months on hopes of a better economic
outlook.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Gold was steady at $1,677.24 an ounce by 0035 GMT.
The euro, which often dictates gold's movements, could fall if
ECB President Mario Draghi voices concerns about the recent
swift and sharp rise of the currency.
    * Platinum added $1.25 an ounce to $1,733.99 after
rising to $1,740 on Wednesday, its strongest since September
2011. Palladium rose $1.97 an ounce to 762.47 after
hitting a high of $769.50 in the previous session, its strongest
since September 2011.
    * Both metals, which are used in jewellery and auto
catalysts, have gained on an improving economic outlook and
after mining disruptions in South Africa as well as a drop in
supply from Russia triggered fears of a deficit.
    * U.S. gold was barely changed at $1,678.40 an
ounce.   
    * India's central bank could limit gold imports by banks in
"extreme circumstances", it said on Wednesday, as it put forward
measures to help the world's biggest consumer of gold rein in
purchases and battle a record-high current account deficit.
 
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Asian shares and the euro paused on Thursday, marking time
ahead of the ECB policy decision and remarks from Draghi on
prospects for the euro zone economy. 
    * U.S. crude steadied near $97 per barrel as investors took
a breather after the past few weeks of gains. 
      
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 
    0530 India 2011/12 GDP 
    0745 France Trade data 
    1100 Germany Industrial output 
    1200 Britain BOE rate decision 
    1245 Euro zone ECB rate decision 
    1330 ECB President Mario Draghi gives news conference 
    1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 
    2000 U.S. Consumer credit 
     N/A EU Summit in Brussels
    
    PRICES
       
  Precious metals prices 0035 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1677.24    0.13   +0.01      0.16
  Spot Silver        31.84    0.03   +0.09      5.15
  Spot Platinum    1733.99    1.25   +0.07     12.96
  Spot Palladium    762.47    1.97   +0.26     10.18
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1678.40   -0.40   -0.02      0.16         1714
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  31.86   -0.02   -0.05      5.39          528
  Euro/Dollar       1.3518
  Dollar/Yen         93.48
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)