Gold prices off 1 month low, palladium near 17 month peak
* Spot gold was steady at $1,650.76 an ounce by 0040 GMT. US gold was at $1,651.40 an ounce, up $1.80.
* Palladium added $2.22 an ounce to $771.22 after rising to $772 on Tuesday, its highest since September 2011. Sister metal platinum rose $10.50 an ounce to $1,723.99.
* PGMs have soared in value since the middle of last year due to concerns about shrinking output blamed on mining disruptions in South Africa and a drop in supply from Russia. Expectations of robust automotive sales have also boosted prices. * Zimbabwe's government told platinum producers on Tuesday to start refining the metal locally within two years, placing a further requirement on an industry already forced to surrender majority shares to locals.
* Increased output by Russia could see it surpass the United States as the world's third largest gold miner by 2015, Sergei Kashuba, head of the Russian Gold Industrialists' Union, said on Tuesday.
* The euro hardly moved against the dollar, while the yen held firm, having swung higher in dramatic style as investors cut bearish positions after an official from the Group of Seven said there were concerns about excessive movements in Japan's currency.
* Japan's Nikkei share average edged lower on Wednesday as a pause in the
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