January 10, 2019 / 11:38 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat as firmer dollar offsets growth concerns

(Updates prices)

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings highest since July

* Investors await further news on Sino-U.S. trade talks

* Palladium off record high hit in prior session

By Arijit Bose

BENGALURU, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Gold steadied near a more than six-month peak on Thursday as the dollar’s slight recovery offset concerns about economic growth after U.S.-China talks failed to provide clarity on efforts to end their trade dispute.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,292.95 per ounce as of 1256 GMT, hovering near last week’s peak of $1,298.42 - a level last seen in the middle of June.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.2 percent to $1,294.40 per ounce.

“Gold has a certain underlined resilience, which suggests a significant portion of investors remain apprehensive to the macroeconomic backdrop and so they want to use gold as an insurance,” said Capital Economics analyst Ross Strachan.

Concerns to economic growth continue to remain in the market with data showing that China’s consumer prices and factory-gate inflation both increased less than expected in December, while economic data in the euro zone has remained consistently weaker than forecasts over the last few months.

“So far this week, (gold) prices have failed to fall below $1,277 and are now trying to attack again the $1,300 level. If they manage to reach this threshold, there would be space for further rallies,” ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said in a note.

Also indicating investor interest in gold, holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose 0.3 percent on Wednesday, to their highest level since late July.

But limiting gold’s gains was a firmer dollar, which edged higher against a basket of six other major currencies, having fallen to a near three-month low earlier in the session.

In other metals, palladium fell about 0.2 percent to $1,324.55 per ounce, after scaling an all-time high of $1,342.43 in the previous session.

“There is always a potential for some profit-taking in palladium,” Strachan said.

“With the fact that reports on the trade front were a bit further away from an agreement than what appeared to be the case this time yesterday, a little bit of the froth in palladium prices is being removed.”

Delegations from China and the United States ended three days of trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday, but there were few concrete details on the meetings, which were not at a ministerial level, so were not expected to produce a deal to end the trade war.

Silver fell 0.5 percent at $15.66 per ounce, while platinum slipped 0.4 percent to $821.75. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)

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