September 13, 2012 / 12:46 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of Fed, platinum near 5-mth high

SINGAPORE, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on
Thursday with investors awaiting the all-important Federal
Reserve policy decision, after a German court ruling in favour
of the euro zone rescue fund sent bullion to its highest since
the end of February.
    Spot platinum hovered near a five-month high, as 
labour strife in top producer South Africa's mining sector
supported sentiment.
      
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold gained $1.41 to $1,732.41 an ounce by
0026 GMT, off a near six-month high of $1,746.20 hit on
Wednesday.
    * U.S. gold traded little changed at $1,735.
    * The Fed is due to conclude a two-day policy meeting later
in the day, with expectations that it will launch a third round
of quantitative easing running high.  
    * The latest data showed U.S. wholesale inventories in July
rose by the most in five months, beating forecasts and
suggesting economic growth started the third quarter on slightly
better footing than expected. 
    * Germany's Constitutional Court gave a green light on
Wednesday for the country to ratify the euro zone's new bailout
fund and budget pact, but insisted the German parliament have
veto powers over any future increases in the size of the fund.
 
    * Labour unrest in South Africa's gold and platinum
industries continue to grip investors. Machete-wielding strikers
forced the world's No.1 platinum producer Anglo American
Platinum to shut down some of its South African operations,
sending spot platinum to a five-month high of $1,654.49
in the previous session. 
    * Spot platinum traded up 0.3 percent to $1,641.50.
    * Spot palladium gained 0.7 percent to $675.97, off a
four-month high of $680.50 in the previous session.
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Wall Street ended little changed on Wednesday, erasing
early gains, as investors turned cautious before a Federal
Reserve decision on another round of monetary stimulus to boost
the economy. 
    * The dollar index edged lower on Thursday ahead of
the Fed policy meeting. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS
 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims                               
 1230 U.S. PPI                                August           
 1630 U.S. FOMC releases statement after policy meeting 
 1800 U.S. Federal budget for August 
 1815 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke holds news 
           conference
    
    PRICES
    
     Precious metals prices 0026 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1732.41    1.41   +0.08     10.78
  Spot Silver        33.24   -0.03   -0.09     20.04
  Spot Platinum    1641.50    5.30   +0.32     17.84
  Spot Palladium    675.97    4.97   +0.74      3.60
  COMEX GOLD DEC2  1735.00    1.30   +0.07     10.74         1747
  COMEX SILVER DEC2  33.31    0.01   +0.04     19.31          589
  Euro/Dollar       1.2907
  Dollar/Yen         77.73
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
    

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Davies)

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