August 13, 2012 / 3:51 AM / 7 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady on stimulus hopes; platinum discount at record

* Gold-platinum premium hits all time high above $230/oz
    * Economic worries support stimulus hopes
    * Spot gold may rise to $1,632/oz -technicals

 (Adds details, graphic; updates prices)
    By Rujun Shen
    SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Monday,
extending its winning streak into a seventh session as dimming
prospects for global growth support expectations of more
stimulus measures from central banks around the world.
    Further monetary easing would likely boost inflation,
driving investors to gold as it is seen as a good hedge against
rising prices.
    Data earlier on Monday showed Japan's economic growth slowed
much more than expected in the second quarter, after a string of
figures on Friday suggested that China's pro-growth measures
have been insufficient.  
    "The sentiment (on gold) has gotten better in the past few
days with investors focusing on central banks," said Dominic
Schnider, an analyst at UBS Wealth Management in Singapore.
    Schnider said gold could test its 200-day moving average
near $1,650 around the U.S. Federal Reserve symposium, slated to
take place late this month in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and
expected to shed light on the central bank's attitude towards
further stimulus.
    Spot gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,622.08 an ounce by
0639 GMT, after posting a weekly rise of nearly 1 percent.
    The U.S. gold futures contract for December delivery 
inched up 0.1 percent to $1,625.
    Spot gold could rise to $1,632 an ounce during the day,
Reuters market analyst Wang Tao said. 
    Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position
in U.S. gold futures and options by 11 percent in the week to
Aug. 7, following a 35-percent surge in the previous week, data
from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
 
    Asia's physical gold traders were also in a wait-and-see
mode, waiting for prices to display a clear trend, dealers said.
    

    GOLD-PLATINUM PREMIUM HITS RECORD HIGH
    Gold's premium to platinum rose to an all-time high above
$230 an ounce, as platinum remained under pressure from gloomy
economic prospects.
    Gold has been at an average $194 discount to platinum since
January, 1985.
    Prices of spot platinum, mainly used to produce
autocatalyst and jewellery, traded nearly flat at $1,393.80,
after falling for six weeks in a row. 
    So long as the global economy does not show signs of
improvement and platinum supply does not undergo dramatic cuts,
platinum's suffering is likely to continue and the spread could
widen further, analysts said.
    In South Africa's troubled platinum sector, two security
guards were hacked to death at a mine operated by the world's
number three platinum producer Lonmin  on Sunday
in new violence between rival unions, company officials said.
 
    
      Precious metals prices 0639 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1622.08    2.64   +0.16      3.73
  Spot Silver        28.01   -0.07   -0.25      1.16
  Spot Platinum    1393.80    0.90   +0.06      0.06
  Spot Palladium    577.90    0.20   +0.03    -11.43
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1625.00    2.20   +0.14      3.71        10750
  COMEX SILVER SEP2  27.99   -0.08   -0.27      0.25         4148
  Euro/Dollar       1.2278
  Dollar/Yen         78.27
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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