PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher; platinum pauses after 6-day rally
* Platinum snaps six-session rally
* Gold breaks resistance at $1,678/oz, eyeing $1,701 - technicals
* Coming up: U.S. industrial output, Dec; 1415 GMT
(Adds details of moves and analyst comments; updates prices) SINGAPORE, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Wednesday towards a near two-week high hit in the previous session on expectations easy global monetary policies will continue, while platinum took a breather after rising for six straight sessions to a three-month peak. Spot gold was headed for a third straight session of gains, encouraged by dovish comments from two U.S. Federal Reserve officials supporting the central bank's ultra-monetary policy.
Monetary stimulus by the world's key central banks helped gold rise for a twelfth straight year in 2012, as investors sought to park their value in hard assets with worries that central banks' cash-printing would debase the value of paper currencies. Spot gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,682.44 an ounce U.S. gold was little changed at $1,682.60. The chart outlook for gold brightened after it broke a resistance level of $1,678 an ounce, which had pressured prices for the past week or so, and prices are expected to rise to $1,701 an ounce, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
But gold's short-term strength could be capped by the lack of liquidity in the market, said Li Ning, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures. "Technicals and fundamentals are both supportive of gold, but we are missing the flow of liquidity," she said, referring to a more than four-month low in net long positions in U.S. gold futures and options. "If we see investors pour more money into this market, it will help confirm the upward trend." Benchmark gold futures contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange hit a record high of 4,828 yen a gram, extending its record-hitting rally into the third session.
Spot platinum fell 0.6 percent to $1,667.61, taking a pause from a six-day winning run that lifted prices by 8 percent and took it above gold for the first time since early last year on Tuesday. "We saw some longs taking profit last night and this morning," said a Singapore-based trader, adding that heavy selling on TOCOM contributed to the price slide. TOCOM platinum rose to an intra-day high of 4,913 yen a gram, its highest since May 2011. But over the short to medium term, platinum may push higher on the supply concern triggered by top producer Anglo American Platinum's plan to close mines and cut jobs, he added.
Spot palladium dropped 0.6 percent to $703.95 an ounce, easing from Tuesday's intra-day high of $717.50, a level unseen since early March, 2012.
Precious metals prices 0307 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1682.44 3.94 +0.23 0.47 Spot Silver 31.37 0.02 +0.06 3.60 Spot Platinum 1667.61 -10.64 -0.63 8.64 Spot Palladium 703.95 -4.55 -0.64 1.73 COMEX GOLD FEB3 1682.60 -1.30 -0.08 0.41 10413 COMEX SILVER MAR3 31.40 -0.13 -0.41 3.87 2034 Euro/Dollar 1.3285 Dollar/Yen 88.31
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)