Gold eases as market digests news of c.banks plan

TOKYO Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:57am GMT

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TOKYO Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gold eased a touch on Thursday as the market digested news of plans to improve liquidity in financial markets, announced the previous day by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks.

-- Bullion rose to a two-week high of $817 an ounce on Wednesday, although it failed to climb higher despite a rally in crude oil prices.

-- The Fed on Wednesday announced the creation of a temporary short-term lending facility to ease credit market strains in concert, with market-calming actions by the European Central Bank and the central banks of Canada, England and Switzerland.

-- The Bank of Japan also made a similar statement. [ID:nN12621509]

-- The news came on the heels of the Fed's decision for a modest cut in interest rates, which had led to a sharp decline in gold futures in after-hours electronic trade on Tuesday as disappointment spread among precious metals investors.

-- By 0110, spot gold XAU= was at $809.50/811.20 compared to $813.50/814.20 in late New York the previous day.

-- The yen held near one-month lows against the dollar and euro on Thursday as investors' fear of risk diminished after the Federal Reserve and other central banks unveiled steps to ease the credit crunch.

-- The dollar fell 0.3 percent against the yen from late U.S. trade to 111.88 yen JPY= but remained near a one-month high of 112.48 yen hit on electronic trading platform EBS on Wednesday.

-- Against the dollar, the single European currency edged up 0.1 percent to $1.4720 EUR=.

-- The most-active February contract GCG8 on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $3.6 to $815.2 per ounce during early Asian trade.

-- The benchmark October 2008 gold contract <0#JAU:> on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange was up 37 yen at 2,938 yen per gram.

-- In industry news, Papua New Guinea gold miner Lihir Gold Ltd LGL.AX cut its 2007 production forecasts by 7 percent to 700,000 ounces due to unplanned maintenance shutdowns, the company said in a statement on Thursday. [ID:nSYD16109]

-- Australian-listed gold producer Sino Gold Ltd SGX.AX(1862.HK) on Thursday agreed to buy a stake in a gold and silver deposit in northern China for US$90 million, strengthening its foothold in the country. [ID:nSYD23826]

-- Platinum XPT= was little changed from late New York at $1,472/1,476 an ounce.

-- Palladium XPD= eased to $346/350 an ounce compared to $348/351 in late New York.

-- Silver XAG= fell to $14.60/14.65 an ounce from $14.64/14.69. Precious metals prices at 0122 GMT

Last Net Change Pct Move Turnover (lots) TOCOM Gold 2939.00 38.00 +1.31 35476 TOCOM Platinum 5157.00 54.00 +1.06 16222 TOCOM Silver 529.90 5.50 +1.05 314 TOCOM Palladium 1271.00 20.00 +1.60 274 Spot Gold 809.90 Spot Platinum 1472.00 Spot Silver 14.62 Spot Palladium 346.00 Change so far in 2007 Metal Latest bid End prev year Pct Move TOCOM Gold 2939.00 2445.00 +20.20 TOCOM Platinum 5157.00 4254.00 +21.23 TOCOM Silver 529.90 493.30 +7.42 TOCOM Palladium 1271.00 1255.00 +1.27 Spot Gold 809.90 636.10 +27.32 Spot Platinum 1472.00 1132.00 +30.04 Spot Silver 14.62 12.85 +13.77 Spot Palladium 346.00 332.00 +4.22 Euro/Dollar $1.4717 Dollar/Yen 111.90 TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except TOCOM silver which is priced in yen per 10 grams. Spot prices in $ per ounce. (Reporting by Miho Yoshikawa; Editing by Valerie Lee)