* Platinum trades at premium to gold for second day
* Posts 9 pct rise over past seven sessions
* Platinum's technical RSI shows market overbought
* Germany plans to repatriate gold held in U.S., France
* Coming up: U.S. housing starts, jobless claims Thursday
(Updates prices to market close)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Jan 16 Platinum rose for a seventh
consecutive session on Wednesday, driven by strong hedge fund
buying after a mine labor crisis at the world's largest platinum
producer in South Africa stirred fears of a supply shortage.
The price of platinum also stayed above that of gold for a
second straight day when Anglo American Platinum in
South Africa said it would shut two mines and cut 14,000 jobs.
The move is expected to widen the platinum market's deficit in
2013 in an already tight market due to strong autocatalyst
Buying by momentum-driven hedge funds and money managers has
fueled platinum's 9 percent rally in the past seven sessions,
sending the market deeper into an overbought territory. The U.S.
EFTS Platinum Trust also posted an increase in its
platinum holdings so far in January.
Tim Murray, general manager of precious metals marketing at
Johnson Matthey USA, said the funds still see platinum fairly
cheap given what's going on in South Africa.
"I will not be surprised to see a sell-off and then a
rebound again. It's going to be very volatile," Murray said.
Spot platinum rose 0.4 percent to $1,685.52 an ounce
by 2:02 p.m. EST (1902 GMT), h overing near a three-month high of
$1,699.50 set on Tuesday.
On technical charts, spot platinum's relative strength index
(RSI) shot to 77 from 67 last Friday, above 70 in an area
traditionally considered by analysts as overbought.
Dealers and analysts said prices were likely to stay firm,
underpinned by labor strikes at three of Amplats' South African
mines. The world's top producer on Tuesday announced plans to
mothball shafts and cut jobs that would reduce output by around
400,000 ounces annually, or around 1 percent of total supply.
The platinum market largely ignored news that Amplats miners
will end an illegal walkout from Wednesday night and want talks
to prevent further action.
Palladium rose 2 percent to $722.50 an ounce.
SHORT-TERM PRESSURE FOR GOLD
Gold prices was up 0.2 percent to $1,682 an ounce,
overshadowed by rallies in the platinum group metals.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for February delivery settled
down 70 cents at $1,683.20 an ounce, with trading volume largely
in line with its 250-day average.
Gold and platinum hit parity for the first time since March
Year to date, gold was up 0.3 percent, sharply
underperforming platinum, which posted a 10 percent gain.
The yellow metal should find underlying support in coming
months from dollar weakness, which should send prices to a
record average high, consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS said.
The gold market was little changed after news Germany's
central bank plans to bring home hundreds of tonnes of gold
currently held by the U.S. Federal Reserve in New York and the
Bank of France in Paris.
Spot silver rose 0.4 percent to $31.49.
2:02 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold FEB 1683.20 -0.70 0.0 1673.00 1684.70 127,437
US Silver MAR 31.542 0.013 0.0 31.090 31.570 28,457
US Plat APR 1694.10 4.20 0.2 1657.10 1700.00 17,588
US Pall MAR 726.45 13.10 1.8 705.65 727.90 6,592
Gold 1682.00 3.50 0.2 1674.16 1684.50
Silver 31.490 0.140 0.4 31.120 31.540
Platinum 1685.52 7.27 0.4 1661.50 1694.50
Palladium 722.50 14.00 2.0 708.25 724.50
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 168,972 144,717 174,184 14.34 0.09
US Silver 30,497 41,535 53,246 23.35 0.40
US Platinum 17,871 15,078 10,643 19.55 0.62
US Palladium 6,658 3,328 4,786
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London; Editing by