April 26, 2019 / 4:01 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eyes first weekly gain in five as slowdown concerns loom

* Spot gold up about 0.5 pct so far this week

* Dollar trades near two-year peak

* Palladium on course for first weekly decline in three

* U.S. GDP data due at 1230 GMT (Updates prices)

By Arijit Bose

April 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices climbed on Friday, as signs of weak global growth rekindled investor interest in the safe-haven metal, keeping it on track for its first weekly gain in five, ahead of U.S. GDP data.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,281.69 per ounce, as of 0813 GMT. The metal has risen 0.5 percent so far this week, and is poised for its first gain since the week ended March 22.

U.S. gold futures edged up 0.3 percent to $1,283.80 an ounce.

Asian shares dropped after world stocks were weighed down by data from Germany and Asia, suggesting that the global economy was still under slowdown constraints.

“Weak data indicates that the countries may have to undertake monetary easing measures, so that is a boost to gold prices,” said Helen Lau, analyst, Argonaut Securities.

“Some investors are wanting to switch out of equity markets into the safe-haven asset class,” she added.

According a Reuters poll, major central banks are done tightening policy especially with the global growth outlook fatiguing across developed and emerging economies, along with scant prospects for a surge in inflation.

The view is supported by a recent slashing of its growth outlook by the Bank of Canada and a disclosure from the Bank of Japan that it will keep interest rates super-low for at least one more year.

The greenback held near a two-year peak on signs that the U.S. economy was doing significantly better than elsewhere, curbing gains for the bullion.

Data on Thursday showed new orders for U.S.-made capital goods increased by the most in eight months in March, hitting their highest level on record.

Earlier this week, gold prices fell to their lowest level this year to $1,265.90 an ounce, which helped reinstate some physical demand for gold, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

Investors will now be keeping an eye out for the release of U.S. GDP data, due at 1230 GMT on Friday.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.5 percent at $15.01 per ounce and has gained 0.6 percent so far this week.

Platinum rose 0.8 percent to $889.57. The metal has fallen 1.3 percent so far this week.

Palladium was down 0.1 percent to $1,412.97 per ounce. The metal is down 0.6 percent so far this week, its first weekly drop in three.

However the lack of an expected switch back to platinum in the auto market and tighter environmental restrictions in China are likely to see palladium continue to outperform its sister autocatalyst metal platinum, Goldman Sachs said in a note. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Shreejay Sinha and Shounak Dasgupta)

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