* No hints on near-term euro area rate cut after ECB meeting
* Gold-platinum ratio at tightest since April 2012
* Chinese exports data boost platinum to highest in a month
* Coming up: U.S. trade data, Dec. Federal Budget Friday
(Adds market details, updates prices)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Jan 10 Gold rose 1 percent to $1,675
an ounce on Thursday, notching its biggest one-day gain in 2013,
as signs that the European Central Bank will not cut interest
rates any time soon boosted bullion buying.
Platinum group metals (PGMs) also climbed 2 percent as
encouraging Chinese export-growth data triggered broad gains in
industrial commodities and equities. Recent improvement in U.S.
vehicle sales also boosted demand for the PGMs largely consumed
as autocatalytic converters, traders said.
Gold has rebounded 3 percent after hitting a 4-1/2 month low
under $1,625 an ounce last week, when minutes from the Federal
Reserve's policy meeting in December showed several top
officials favored slowing or stopping the stimulus program "well
before" the end of the year.
"Gold was oversold after the Fed minutes. I don't see the
Fed will be doing anything to withdraw stimulus soon," said Bill
O'Neill, partner of commodities investment firm LOGIC Advisors.
"Clearly, Mario Draghi is leaving room for accommodation,
and the overall global pattern of central bank easing continues
to be there," he said.
The euro zone economy will remain weak in 2013, said ECB
President Mario Draghi, and he forecast a gradual recovery only
in late 2013, as the ECB held interest rates at a record low of
Spot gold rose 1.1 percent to $1,675.70 an ounce by
3:03 p.m. EST (2003 GMT), having earlier hit a one-week high of
$1,678.60 an ounce.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for February delivery settled
up $22.50 at $1,678 an ounce, with trading volume about 5
percent above its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
Central bank monetary stimulus was a key driver behind
gold's 12th year of annual gains in 2012 as investors were drawn
to bullion as a hedge against inflation.
An around 1.5 percent gain in the euro against the dollar
and increases in crude oil further boosted gold's gain.
Also underpinning gold was data showing China's export
growth rebounded surprisingly sharply to a seven-month high in
December after seven straight quarters of slowdown.
Credit Suisse analyst Tom Kendall said the Chinese data and
the dollar's drop helped pave the way for gold's run towards the
next resistance level at $1,703 an ounce.
Silver rose 1.6 percent to $30.82 an ounce.
WHITE HOT PLATINUM GROUP METALS
Spot platinum hit its highest in a month and was last
up 2.4 percent at $1,629.50 an ounce, while palladium
rose 2 percent to $696.60 for a third day of gains.
Gold's premium over platinum, a historically unusual
phenomenon that has persisted since the first quarter of 2012,
fell to less than $50, its lowest since mid-April.
Signs of continuous improvement in U.S. auto sales have also
given a brighter tone to PGMs, alongside supply issues created
by labour unrest in South Africa's producing belt.
Platinum and palladium prices may rise to record nominal
highs in the long run, boosted by growing investment interest in
PGM exchange-traded funds, futures and options, commodities
research and asset management firm CPM Group said in a note.
3:03 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold FEB 1678.00 22.50 1.4 1653.80 1678.80 139,308
US Silver MAR 30.918 0.669 2.2 30.255 30.950 38,271
US Plat JAN 1632.40 34.60 2.2 1595.20 1632.50 125
US Pall MAR 702.20 14.00 2.0 685.55 705.00 4,398
Gold 1675.70 18.41 1.1 1654.60 1678.60
Silver 30.820 0.490 1.6 30.280 30.910
Platinum 1629.50 38.50 2.4 1595.25 1632.50
Palladium 696.60 13.50 2.0 686.30 702.50
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 164,006 154,109 174,222 13.4 -0.15
US Silver 44,914 46,425 53,155 22.01 -0.39
US Platinum 16,033 14,178 10,502 17.09 0.30
US Palladium 4,560 4,201 4,802
(Additonal reporting by Veronica Brown in London and Rujun Shen
in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Richard Chang)