PRECIOUS-Gold holds gains after U.S. budget deal
SINGAPORE, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Gold firmed on Thursday after global stocks rallied on a last-minute deal in Washington to prevent the U.S. economy from plunging into recession, but investors remained cautious as they turned their attention to tough negotiations ahead.
* Gold added $1.65 an ounce to $1,688 by 0022 GMT. The precious metal ended up around 7 percent in 2012 - the 12th straight year of gains, making it one of the longest bull runs ever for a commodity.
* President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans face even bigger budget battles in the next two months after a hard-fought "fiscal cliff" deal narrowly averted devastating tax hikes and spending cuts.
* U.S. gold for February was little changed at $1,688.70 an ounce.
* India's central bank has asked that volume and value restrictions be placed on gold imports by banks and agencies, while the finance minister said he was looking at further curbs on gold imports to help rein in a current account gap that touched an all-time high in the July-September quarter.
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* Many Asian stocks were set to start Thursday with mild gains while oil eased following the previous session's rally as investors look ahead to negotiations on the U.S. debt limit and spending cuts.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0855 Germany Unemployment rate sa Dec 2012 0900 EZ Money-M3 3m moving av Nov 2012 1330 U.S. Jobless claims Weekly
Precious metals prices 0022 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1688.00 1.65 +0.10 0.80 Spot Silver 31.11 0.14 +0.45 2.74 Spot Platinum 1566.99 6.49 +0.42 2.08 Spot Palladium 703.72 1.35 +0.19 1.69 COMEX GOLD FEB3 1688.70 -0.10 -0.01 0.77 1032 COMEX SILVER MAR3 31.16 0.15 +0.49 3.08 508 Euro/Dollar 1.3187 Dollar/Yen 87.28
(Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Michael Urquhart)