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PRECIOUS-Gold down ahead of BoE, ECB meetings, PGMs up
January 9, 2013 / 3:26 PM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold down ahead of BoE, ECB meetings, PGMs up

* Bullion investors await BoE, ECB meetings on Thursday
    * Platinum, palladium jump on fund buying, auto-sector boon
    * Gold's premium over platinum shrinks to four-month low
    * Coming up: US weekly jobless claims, wholesale data Thurs

 (Adds market details, updates prices)
    By Frank Tang
    NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Gold eased in light trading on
Wednesday, giving back some of the previous session's gains,
while platinum group metals rallied as improving U.S. auto sales
and a better economic outlook triggered fund buying.
    Bullion retreated after Tuesday's almost 1 percent gain,
lifted by speculation the Bank of Japan will consider easing
monetary policy again in January. Signs of better Asian physical
demand from China and India, however, provide underlying
support, traders said.
    Market sentiment remains cautious after minutes from the
December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee showed
several top officials favored slowing or stopping the stimulus
program "well before" the end of the year.
    "The gold market now focuses on the ECB meeting tomorrow and
the FOMC meeting at the end of the month. Other than those, gold
has struggled to find a direction in a slow news week," said
David Meger, director of metals trading at Vision Financial
Markets.
    The metal market will now closely monitor remarks from
Thursday's meetings of both the Bank of England and the European
Central Bank for any hint about the central banks' monetary
policies. A string of U.S. economic data next week including
retail sales, consumer prices and housing starts could offer new
catalyst for the gold market, analysts said.
    Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,656.20 an ounce
by 3:02 p.m. EST (2002 GMT).
    U.S. COMEX gold futures for February delivery settled
down $6.70 at $1,655.50, with trading volume at around 20
percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
showed.
    Technical selling also weighed down on gold after the metal
ran into resistance after it has failed to hold gains above its
200-day moving average at around $1,660 in recent sessions,
analysts said.
    In the physical market, gold buying tailed off in major
consumer India after a strong start to the week as dealers
awaited a further price correction, traders said.
    Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, New York's SPDR Gold Trust, eased for a second day
and are down 11 tonnes from the start of the year. 
    
    ECONOMIC OPTIMISM BOOSTS PALLADIUM
    Palladium rose 2.4 percent to $684 an ounce for its
biggest one-day gain in around two weeks. However, palladium was
still down 0.3 percent for week after it lost almost 3 percent
on Monday.
    Small gains in U.S. equities amid a brighter economic
outlook and signs of continuous improvement in U.S. auto sales
prompted funds to pour into palladium, Vision's Meger said.
    Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.3
percent to $30.27 an ounce, while platinum gained 1.3
percent to $1,594.50 an ounce.
    Gold's premium over platinum, a historically unusual
phenomenon that has persisted since the first quarter of last
year, fell to $60, its lowest at around since mid-September on
Wednesday.
 3:02 PM EST     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold FEB   1655.50  -6.70  -0.4  1651.30 1666.00  118,484
 US Silver MAR  30.249 -0.216  -0.7   30.065  30.575   31,730
 US Plat JAN   1597.80  17.20   1.1  1576.40 1601.40      208
 US Pall MAR    688.20  20.35   3.0   673.10  693.50    4,614
                                                              
 Gold          1656.20  -2.40  -0.1  1652.00 1665.80         
 Silver         30.270 -0.080  -0.3   30.080  30.560
 Platinum      1594.50  20.80   1.3  1579.50 1599.00
 Palladium      684.00  15.90   2.4   674.20  690.00
                                                              
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        139,957   158,079   174,192     13.35   -0.07
 US Silver       36,902    48,280    53,114      22.4   -1.38
 US Platinum     15,016    14,016    10,480     16.79   -0.19
 US Palladium     4,657     4,575     4,802                  
                                                              
 
 (Additonal reporting by Jan Harvey and Veronica Brown in
London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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