Gold Steady While Platinum Gains on Mine Closure and J-M Analysis

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Platinum has risen on the combination of short-covering and people taking the Johnson Matthey report as not perhaps being as bearish as they might have seen," Tom Kendall, precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corp, said.

Platinum held firm after rising as much as 3 percent on Wednesday after an industry report predicted demand could still rise and a mine closure triggered short covering, while gold was steady.

Precious metals traded rangebound, keeping an eye on the currency markets, as the dollar inched up against a basket of currencies while falling oil prices capped possible gains of bullion.

Platinum was trading at $829.00 an ounce by 1055 GMT after hitting a session high of $850 an ounce earlier and compared with $824.50 an ounce in New York late on Tuesday, when it gained around 2 percent.

"Platinum has risen on the combination of short-covering and people taking the Johnson Matthey report as not perhaps being as bearish as they might have seen," Tom Kendall, precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corp, said.

Precious metals refiner Johnson Matthey said global demand for platinum catalytic converters would climb 2 percent in 2008 on higher consumption in Europe and emerging economies, despite a sharp decline in North America. Prices were also supported by news that Lonmin, the world's third-biggest platinum producer, would close its high-cost mines and that it was cutting costs to survive a market downturn.

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