January 18, 2013 / 1:09 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Platinum, palladium near multi-month highs on U.S. data

SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Platinum and palladium on
Friday hovered near multi-month highs hit in the previous
session on upbeat U.S. economic data, while gold traded little
changed after marking a one-month peak.
    * Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,686.64 an ounce by
0041 GMT, heading for a weekly rise of 1.4 percent, its biggest
such climb in nearly two months. It hit a one-month high of
$1,695.56 on Thursday.
    * U.S. gold inched down 0.2 percent to $1,686.80.
    * Spot platinum edged down 0.4 percent to $1,681.99,
but remained on course for a weekly gain of over 3 percent in
its third straight week of rises.
    * Spot palladium was 0.3 percent lower at $720.72,
but was expected to chalk up a 3.4-percent weekly gain. It
climbed to $727 in the previous session, the highest level since
September, 2011.
    * The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
aid hit a five-year low last week and residential construction
surged in December, the latest signs that the U.S. economic
recovery remains on track. 
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve will very likely need to continue
its large-scale asset purchases into the second half of this
year, since a big improvement in the U.S. labour market is
unlikely to have happened by then, a top central bank official
said on Thursday. 
    * Investors are awaiting China's gross domestic product data
for the last quarter of 2012, due at 0200 GMT, which is expected
to show the country's annual economic growth may have quickened
to 7.8 percent, snapping seven sessions of weaker expansion. 
    * The U.S. Mint has suspended sales of its 2013 American
Eagle silver bullion coins after running out of stock due to
soaring demand for the newly minted coins in the first two weeks
of the year. 
    * India's gold imports could drop by up to a quarter this
year if, as expected, the government again raises the duty on
the precious metal, the chairman of the All India Gems and
Jewellery Trade Federation said on Thursday. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
, or 
    * The stronger-than-expected data on U.S. housing starts and
jobless claims lit a fire under stocks on Thursday, pushing the
S&P 500 to a five-year high in its third day of gains. 
    * The yen languished at two-and-a-half year lows against the
dollar on Friday following a dramatic selloff as markets
positioned for the Bank of Japan to take bold policy action to
tackle deflation. 
 0200 China  GDP                        Q4                      
 0200 China  Industrial output          Dec                     
 0200 China  Retail sales               Dec                     
 0200 China  Urban investment           Dec                     
 0900 Italy  Industrial orders          Nov                     
 1455 U.S.   Reuters/UMich consumer sentiment                  
 Precious metals prices 0041 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1686.64   -0.62   -0.04      0.72
  Spot Silver        31.69   -0.03   -0.09      4.66
  Spot Platinum    1681.99   -7.00   -0.41      9.58
  Spot Palladium    720.72   -2.00   -0.28      4.15
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1686.80   -4.00   -0.24      0.66         3818
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  31.72   -0.09   -0.30      4.91          375
  Euro/Dollar       1.3371
  Dollar/Yen         89.97
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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