PRECIOUS-Gold steady below $1,660; platinum, palladium shine

Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:05pm IST

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

* Asia's physical demand slows as prices stagnate
    * Gold-platinum ratio hits nine-month high; may further rise
    * Spot gold may retrace to $1,642.14/oz - technicals
    * Coming up: ECB rate decision, 1245 GMT

 (Adds comments and details; updates prices)
    By Rujun Shen
    SINGAPORE, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Thursday,
with investors eying a key resistance level just above $1,660 an
ounce and awaiting a rate decision by the European Central Bank
at its policy meeting later in the day.
    Platinum group metals, encouraged by an improving economic
outlook on better-than-expected trade data from China, stole the
show, with spot platinum rising to a three-week high and spot
palladium on course for a third day of rises. 
    The ECB is expected to hold interest rates unchanged, but
economists have mixed views on the chances of a rate cut in the
next few months due to a murky economic outlook. 
 
    Central banks' monetary stimulus was a key driver behind
gold's twelfth year of annual gains in 2012, as investors
concerned about the side effects of rampant cash printing fled
to bullion to hedge against inflation.
    Gold has been moving in a narrow range of about $25 this
week, with the upside capped by signs that the United States
might end its easy money policy. Physical buying in Asia has
helped support prices above $1,640 an ounce.
    Gold dropped to a more than four-month low below $1,630 an
ounce last week after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's
last meeting showed officials were concerned about the side
effects of its bond-buying programme.
    "The market got a little concerned about how aggressive the
Fed will be," said Jeremy Friesen, commodity strategist at
Societe Generale in Hong Kong, adding that the market is
expected to rebound.
    SocGen expected gold to average $1,700 an ounce in the first
quarter of the year, as well as for all of 2013.
    Spot gold inched up to $1,659.04 an ounce by 0747
GMT, below the key resistance of the 200-day moving average at
$1.661.07.
    U.S. gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,659.50 an ounce.
    Technical analysis suggested that spot gold could retrace to
$1,642.14 an ounce during the day, said Reuters market analyst
Wang Tao. 
    
    
    
    The dollar index inched higher, on course for its
third day of gains. A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced
commodities less affordable for buyers holding other currencies.
 
    Robust purchases on the physical bullion market in Asia were
showing signs of slowing down, after prices settled in a range,
dealers said.
    "Prices have been at the current level for a week or so, and
we will see some slowdown in physical buying, unless prices go
down to $1,640 or $1,650," said a Singapore-based trader.
    
    PLATINUM GROUP METALS FIRM
    Spot platinum gained 1.1 percent to $1,608.50 an
ounce. It rose to a three-week high of $1,614 earlier.
    The gold-platinum ratio rose to near 0.97, its highest in
nine months
    "Platinum fell the most last year. Given people believe in a
U.S. economic recovery, industrial metals should outperform gold
and we should see platinum prices move above gold again," said a
second Singapore-based trader.
    Spot palladium gained nearly 2 percent to $696.50,
easing from a one-week high of $709 an ounce earlier.
    
    Precious metals prices 0747 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1659.04    1.75   +0.11     -0.93
  Spot Silver        30.39    0.06   +0.20      0.36
  Spot Platinum    1608.50   17.50   +1.10      4.79
  Spot Palladium    696.50   13.40   +1.96      0.65
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1659.50    4.00   +0.24     -0.97        12918
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.41    0.16   +0.53      0.60         4508
  Euro/Dollar       1.3070
  Dollar/Yen         88.23
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

REUTERS SHOWCASE

E-Commerce Boom

E-Commerce Boom

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

GDP growth to slow to 5.1 pct, but no rate cut yet  Full Article 

Oil Prices Fall

Oil Prices Fall

Oil at four-year low as OPEC production cut looks unlikely  Full Article 

Hughes Dies

Hughes Dies

Australia batsman Hughes passes away aged 25  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

Insight - Behind Google's Europe woes, American accents  Full Article 

India-focused Funds

India-focused Funds

India-focused hedge funds up over 40 pct YTD - HFR  Full Article 

Trade Deal

Trade Deal

WTO postpones trade deal by a day after last-minute objection.  Full Article 

Land Disputes

Land Disputes

Disputes over land for industry on the rise in India, angering locals - charities  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage