PRECIOUS-Platinum reverses losses on Amplats; gold inches up

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:13am GMT

* Anglo American Platinum workers down tools
    * Gold breaks resistance at $1,678/oz, eyeing $1,701
-technicals
    * Coming up: U.S. industrial output, Dec; 1415 GMT

 (Adds detail, comment; updates prices)
    By Rujun Shen
    SINGAPORE, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Platinum reversed early losses
on Wednesday to extend its winning streak into a seventh
straight session, buoyed by rising supply concerns after staff
at top producer Anglo American Platinum downed tools.
    Workers in South Africa refused to go underground for
overnight shifts to protest an announcement from the firm, known
as Amplats, that it would close mines and cut jobs.
 
    "In the short term, platinum may see more strength, boosted
by news from Amplats," said Alice Chiu, assistant manager of PGM
trading at Heraeus Metals Hong Kong.
    South African platinum production was hit last year by a
wave of violent wildcat strikes. 
    "Platinum will perform better than gold this year because of
improving economic outlook, but right now it may be a little
overbought," Chiu said.
    Spot platinum had inched up 0.1 percent to $1,680.50
an ounce by 0732 GMT, headed for a seventh straight session of
gains, its longest winning streak since early October. It rose
to a three-month high of $1,699.5 the day before. 
    Spot palladium was up 0.3 percent at $710.50 an
ounce, easing from Tuesday's intra-day high of $717.50, a level
unseen since early March, 2012.
    
    
    Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,682.69 an ounce, on
track for a third straight session of gains on expectations that
the world's key central banks will continue their ultra-loose
monetary policies. 
    U.S. gold was little changed at $1,682.80.
    The chart outlook for gold brightened after it broke a
resistance level of $1,678 an ounce, which had pressured prices
for the past week or so, and prices are expected to rise to
$1,701 an ounce, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
 
    But gold's short-term strength could be capped by the lack
of liquidity in the market, said Li Ning, an analyst at Shanghai
CIFCO Futures.
    "Technicals and fundamentals are both supportive of gold,
but we are missing the flow of liquidity," she said, referring
to a more than four-month low in net long positions in U.S. gold
futures and options.
    "If we see investors pour more money into this market, it
will help confirm the upward trend."
    The benchmark gold futures contract on the Tokyo Commodity
Exchange hit a record high of 4,828 yen a gram,
extending its record-hitting rally into a third session.
    
 
 Precious metals prices 0732 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1682.69    4.19   +0.25      0.49
  Spot Silver        31.34   -0.01   -0.03      3.50
  Spot Platinum    1680.50    2.25   +0.13      9.48
  Spot Palladium    710.50    2.00   +0.28      2.67
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1682.80   -1.10   -0.07      0.42        18233
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  31.38   -0.15   -0.49      3.79         3725
  Euro/Dollar       1.3279
  Dollar/Yen         88.17
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
  

 (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Joseph Radford)