PRECIOUS-Platinum snaps 7-day rally but supply concerns support
SINGAPORE, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Platinum edged lower on Thursday, snapping a seven-day rally after workers at the world's top producer, Anglo American Platinum, looked set to end a walkout, but worries about supply shortages are likely to limit the downside.
* Spot gold was little changed at $1,679.95 an ounce by 0037 GMT, holding on to gains made in the past three sessions.
* U.S. gold inched down 0.2 percent to $1,679.80.
* Spot platinum lost 0.3 percent to $1,678.75, hovering below a three-month high of $1,699.50 hit earlier in the week.
* Spot palladium inched down 0.1 percent to $720.25, easing from a near 16-month high of $724.50 hit in the previous session.
* Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) miners will end an illegal walkout from Wednesday night and want talks to prevent further action, a labour leader said.
* Demand for new cars in recession-bound Europe fell to a 17-year low in 2012, leaving mass market manufacturers little hope for this year as they try to cut costly excess factory capacity and aggressive discounting dents their margins.
* Platinum usage in Europe's automobile industry accounted for 18 percent of the world's total demand for the metal in 2011, data from refiner Johnson Matthey showed.
* Persistent concerns over the health of the U.S. economy and pressure on the dollar will send gold to a record average high this year, said Thomson Reuters GFMS.
* Germany's central bank plans to bring home hundreds of tonnes of gold, part of the reserves it kept in the United States and France during the Cold War for safety from any Soviet invasion.
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* The S&P 500 ended nearly flat on Wednesday as solid earnings from two major banks and a bounceback in Apple shares offset concerns about a lower forecast for global growth in 2013.
* The euro struggled to regain its momentum on Thursday even after a top European central banker sounded relaxed about its recent run higher, while the yen hovered at one-week highs, still underpinned by a wave of short-covering.
1330 U.S. Housing starts Dec 1330 U.S. Building permits Dec
1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1500 U.S. Philadelphia Fed index Jan
Precious metals prices 0037 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1679.95 1.06 +0.06 0.32 Spot Silver 31.44 0.02 +0.06 3.83 Spot Platinum 1678.75 -4.50 -0.27 9.36 Spot Palladium 720.25 -1.02 -0.14 4.08 COMEX GOLD FEB3 1679.80 -3.40 -0.20 0.24 1673 COMEX SILVER MAR3 31.47 -0.08 -0.24 4.09 397 Euro/Dollar 1.3292 Dollar/Yen 88.60
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)