PRECIOUS-Gold firms in volatile post-ECB trade
* ECB's Draghi highlights risk to euro zone
* Platinum and palladium hold near multi-month highs
(Adds comments, updates prices)
LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Gold rose in volatile trade on Thursday, displaying resilience even as currency fundamentals turned against the market, after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi highlighted downside risks for the euro area's outlook.
The euro hit its lowest in a week versus the dollar after Draghi said risks to the bank's outlook for the euro zone were to the downside. The euro had earlier maintained gains after the ECB held its main interest rate at a record low 0.75 percent.
Gold fell to a session low of $1,662.80 an ounce immediately after Draghi's comments before clawing higher to $1,682 an ounce by 1548 GMT, up 0.3 percent on the day.
U.S. gold futures for April delivery rose 0.2 percent, while a weaker Japanese yen against the dollar sent gold futures on Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) to another record at 5,081 yen a gram overnight.
"Gold showed resilience even as the dollar strengthened after the ECB comments. There's some minor risk aversion washing through the market," Socgen analyst Robin Bhar said.
Physical gold activity also began to slow down ahead of the long Lunar New Year break, with premiums for gold bars in Hong Kong easing to $1 to $1.50 an ounce to the spot London price from as high as $1.70 last week.
China's gold production rose for a sixth consecutive year to hit a record 403 tonnes in 2012, keeping its ranking as the world's largest bullion producer, the Shanghai Securities News said on Thursday.
WHITE METALS PAUSE
Platinum and palladium stayed close to their highest levels in almost a year and a half, boosted by a brightened economic outlook. The world's largest PGMs miner Anglo American Platinum also rejected criticism of its plan to mothball two mines and slash up to 14,000 jobs to restore profits.
Platinum was steady at $1,733.74 an ounce, having risen to $1,740 on Wednesday, its strongest since September 2011. Palladium inched up 0.3 percent to $763 an ounce. The metal rose as high as $769.50 in the previous session, also its peak since September 2011.
A weak yen also lifted platinum futures on TOCOM, with the most active December contract jumping to its highest since early 2010 at 5,299 yen a gram.
Both metals, which are used in jewellery and auto catalysts, have gained on a more positive economic outlook and after mining disruptions in South Africa, as well as a drop in supply from Russia, triggered fears of a deficit. But analysts say a short-term correction is likely, considering strong speculative interest.
"The momentum suggests that there is some more upside to be had - but extra vigilance is required," broker UBS said in a note.
"Any risk-off development or negative economic data print would easily trigger an overdue washout, considering the amount of net speculative longs."
(Editing by Veronica Brown and Keiron Henderson)