January 16, 2013 / 12:45 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up; platinum pauses after 6-day rally

SINGAPORE, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Wednesday
towards a near two-week high hit in the previous session, while
platinum took a breather after rising for six straight sessions
to a three-month peak.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold had climbed 0.3 percent to $1,683.60 an
ounce by 0025 GMT, just off Tuesday's high of $1,684.90.
    * U.S. gold was little changed at $1,683.70.
    * Two dovish Federal Reserve officials argued that the U.S.
central bank's accommodative policies are appropriate and may
even need to be eased further. 
    * U.S. retail sales rose solidly in December as Americans
shrugged off the threat of higher taxes and bought automobiles
and a range of other goods, suggesting momentum in consumer
spending as the year ended. 
    * Spot platinum traded nearly flat at $1,678.75,
sliding from a three-month high of $1,699.50.
    * American Platinum plans to mothball two South
African mines, sell another and cut 14,000 jobs, risking a
repeat of last year's violent strikes as the world's largest
producer of the precious metal struggles to stem losses.
 
    * Platinum mining stocks are an attractive investment at
current levels given threats to South African supply, but those
operating in the republic itself are less appealing than those
based elsewhere, a London fund manager said on Tuesday.
 
    * India's passion for gold is putting such a strain on state
finances that the government may slap higher import taxes on the
precious metal, but demand buoyed by heady inflation and meagre
savings will blunt the impact of any rise in duties.
 
    * U.S. American Eagle gold and silver coin sales have been
exceptionally strong in January, building on a late 2012 rally
as collectors scramble to snap up newly minted 2013 coins and
investors seek refuge from U.S. economic uncertainty.
 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * The Dow and S&P 500 edged higher on Tuesday after
stronger-than-expected retail data, though tech heavyweight
Apple dragged on the market for a third day. 
    * The euro had its winning streak clipped after a top
European official complained about its recent run higher, while
the yen held firm on Wednesday following a warning about its
excessive weakness by a Japanese politician. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 0500  Japan     Consumer confid. index      Dec                 
 1000  EZ        Inflation, final yy         Dec                 
 1330  U.S.      Core CPI mm, sa             Dec                
 1330  U.S.      CPI mm, sa                  Dec                 
 1330  U.S.      Core CPI yy, nsa            Dec                 
 1330  U.S.      CPI yy, nsa                 Dec                 
 1415  U.S.      Industrial output mm        Dec               
 1500  U.S.      NAHB housing market indx    Jan                  
       
    PRICES
      
 Precious metals prices 0025 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1683.60    5.10   +0.30      0.54
  Spot Silver        31.44    0.09   +0.29      3.83
  Spot Platinum    1678.75    0.50   +0.03      9.36
  Spot Palladium    708.97    0.47   +0.07      2.45
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1683.70   -0.20   -0.01      0.47         2950
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  31.49   -0.04   -0.12      4.17          638
  Euro/Dollar       1.3311
  Dollar/Yen         88.72
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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