May 14, 2014 / 12:32 AM / 4 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up on Ukraine; platinum, palladium hold gains

SINGAPORE, May 14 (Reuters) - Platinum and palladium
retained on Wednesday sharp gains made overnight on worries that
increasing labour tensions in major producer South Africa could
hurt supply, while gold edged up on escalating violence in
    * Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,295.00 an ounce by
0019 GMT. The metal is often seen as a safe-haven investment at
times of political uncertainty.
    * Pro-Russian separatists ambushed Ukrainian troops on
Tuesday, killing seven in the heaviest loss of life for
government forces in a single clash since Kiev sent soldiers to
put down a rebellion in the country's east. 
    * With the uprising and Russia's annexation of Crimea
poisoning East-West relations, Moscow retaliated against U.S.
sanctions by hitting aerospace projects, including refusing to
extend the life of the International Space Station, a showcase
of post-Cold War cooperation.
    * Platinum rose about 1 percent in the previous
session to its highest in a month, while palladium also
rose that much to a one-week high. 
    * South Africa sent more police to the platinum belt on
Tuesday to protect miners who have decided to ditch a 16-week
strike that has halted 40 percent of normal global output and
dented already sluggish growth in Africa's most advanced
    * Hundreds of stick-wielding miners barricaded roads and
torched roadside vegetable stalls near Lonmin's South African
platinum mine on Tuesday, in an attempt to block fellow strikers
from breaking rank and going back to work. 
    * South Africa is the top producer of platinum and second
biggest producer of palladium after Russia. 
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    *  Asian shares inched up on Wednesday, while the euro
wobbled close to five-week lows on heightened speculation of
more European Central Bank stimulus next month. 
    0900 Euro zone Industrial production March 
    1230 U.S. Producer prices final April

    PRICES AT 0019 GMT
 Metal             Last     Change  Pct chg
 Spot gold            1295    2.26     0.17
 Spot silver         19.51    0.03     0.15
 Spot platinum        1448     0.9     0.06
 Spot palladium        813       0        0
 Comex gold         1295.4     0.6     0.05
 Comex silver       19.565   0.018     0.09
 Euro               1.3701                 
 DXY                 80.11                 
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)

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