PRECIOUS-Gold inches up; platinum pauses after 6-day rally
SINGAPORE, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Wednesday towards a near two-week high hit in the previous session, while platinum took a breather after rising for six straight sessions to a three-month peak.
* Spot gold had climbed 0.3 percent to $1,683.60 an ounce by 0025 GMT, just off Tuesday's high of $1,684.90.
* U.S. gold was little changed at $1,683.70.
* Two dovish Federal Reserve officials argued that the U.S. central bank's accommodative policies are appropriate and may even need to be eased further.
* U.S. retail sales rose solidly in December as Americans shrugged off the threat of higher taxes and bought automobiles and a range of other goods, suggesting momentum in consumer spending as the year ended.
* Spot platinum traded nearly flat at $1,678.75, sliding from a three-month high of $1,699.50.
* American Platinum plans to mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14,000 jobs, risking a repeat of last year's violent strikes as the world's largest producer of the precious metal struggles to stem losses.
* Platinum mining stocks are an attractive investment at current levels given threats to South African supply, but those operating in the republic itself are less appealing than those based elsewhere, a London fund manager said on Tuesday.
* India's passion for gold is putting such a strain on state finances that the government may slap higher import taxes on the precious metal, but demand buoyed by heady inflation and meagre savings will blunt the impact of any rise in duties.
* U.S. American Eagle gold and silver coin sales have been exceptionally strong in January, building on a late 2012 rally as collectors scramble to snap up newly minted 2013 coins and investors seek refuge from U.S. economic uncertainty.
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* The Dow and S&P 500 edged higher on Tuesday after stronger-than-expected retail data, though tech heavyweight Apple dragged on the market for a third day.
* The euro had its winning streak clipped after a top European official complained about its recent run higher, while the yen held firm on Wednesday following a warning about its excessive weakness by a Japanese politician.
0500 Japan Consumer confid. index Dec 1000 EZ Inflation, final yy Dec 1330 U.S. Core CPI mm, sa Dec 1330 U.S. CPI mm, sa Dec 1330 U.S. Core CPI yy, nsa Dec 1330 U.S. CPI yy, nsa Dec 1415 U.S. Industrial output mm Dec 1500 U.S. NAHB housing market indx Jan
Precious metals prices 0025 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1683.60 5.10 +0.30 0.54 Spot Silver 31.44 0.09 +0.29 3.83 Spot Platinum 1678.75 0.50 +0.03 9.36 Spot Palladium 708.97 0.47 +0.07 2.45 COMEX GOLD FEB3 1683.70 -0.20 -0.01 0.47 2950 COMEX SILVER MAR3 31.49 -0.04 -0.12 4.17 638 Euro/Dollar 1.3311 Dollar/Yen 88.72
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)