March 29, 2019 / 1:51 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up after steep fall; palladium faces worst week since end-2015

March 29 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Friday, but was on track for its first weekly decline in four weeks after posting its steepest fall in more than seven months in the previous session on a strong dollar.

Palladium, meanwhile, was set for its worst week since November 2015, after recording its biggest one-day decline in more than two years on Thursday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,291.40 per ounce by 0120 GMT, after falling about 1.5 percent in the previous session to touch its lowest since March 8 at $1,288.30.

* The metal is down about 1.6 percent so far this week, but is virtually flat for the quarter.

* U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,290 an ounce.

* Spot palladium gained 0.5 percent to $1,355.18 an ounce, after sliding 6.6 percent - the most since January 2017 - in the previous session.

* The auto-catalyst metal has still gained about 8 percent for the quarter.

* The dollar was poised on Friday for its strongest gain in three weeks as investors responded positively to a bounce in U.S. Treasury yields and as some of its rivals were hit by dovish signals from their own central banks.

* The U.S. economy slowed more than initially thought in the fourth quarter, keeping growth in 2018 below the Trump administration’s 3 percent target, and corporate profits fell by the most in a year after a one-off boost from lower taxes.

* China will sharply expand market access for foreign banks and securities and insurance companies, especially in its financial services sector, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, as senior U.S. officials arrived in Beijing for more trade talks.

* White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the United States could lift some tariffs on China, while leaving others in place as part of an enforcement mechanism on a U.S.-China trade deal.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May scrambled on Thursday for a way to secure a new delay to Brexit in the face of parliamentary deadlock by setting out plans for a watered-down vote on her EU divorce deal to be held on Friday.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates until at least the end of next year, according to economists in a Reuters poll who gave a 40 percent chance of at least one rate cut by end-2020.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0700 Germany Retail Sales (Feb) 0700 UK Nationwide house prices (Mar) 0855 Germany Unemployment rate (Mar) 0930 UK GDP YY (Q4) 1400 U.S. New home sales- units (Feb) (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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