June 28, 2019 / 4:44 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises on trade uncertainty; on course for best month in 3 years

* Bullion up nearly 8.4% this month

* Silver to post biggest monthly gain in six months

* Palladium heads for best month in 2-1/2 years

* Spot gold may retest resistance at $1,439/oz -technicals (Updates prices)

By Brijesh Patel

June 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday, heading for their best month in three years, as uncertainty loomed over whether the highly anticipated trade talks between China and the United States would yield any progress in ending a year-long trade dispute.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,413.80 per ounce as of 0742 GMT. Gold has risen nearly 8.4% so far this month, on track for its biggest monthly percentage gain since June 2016.

With nearly 1.2% gained so far this week, the bullion is also set to post its sixth consecutive weekly rise.

U.S. gold futures climbed 0.3% to $1,416.60 an ounce.

The leaders of the Group of 20 countries meet on Friday and Saturday in Osaka, Japan, with a much-anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled for Saturday.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Xi plans to present Trump with a set of terms the United States should meet before Beijing would be ready to settle their trade dispute.

White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, however, said Trump has agreed to no preconditions for his high-stakes meeting with Xi and is maintaining his threat to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods.

“Ongoing tensions around the trade talks between the U.S. and China helped gold with some safe-haven buying prior to the G20 summit meeting on Saturday,” ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.

“The emergence of a list of requirements from China has just reminded the market that it’s going to be a difficult process to get the trade talks going again,” he said.

The trade tensions also weighed on equity markets on Friday, boosting appeal for safe-haven bullion.

The yellow metal was also underpinned by a softer dollar. The dollar index declined slightly after touching a near one-week high in the previous session.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.26% to 795.80 tonnes on Thursday, from 797.85 tonnes on Wednesday.

On the technical front, spot gold may retest a resistance at $1,439 per ounce, as it has found support at $1,404, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, silver inched down 0.1% to $15.24 per ounce. The metal is set to post its first monthly gain in five months, and is headed for its best month this year.

Palladium fell 0.8% to $1,537.82 an ounce. However, the auto-catalyst metal has risen over 16% so far this month, its biggest monthly percentage gain since November 2016.

Platinum was up 0.4% at $814.56. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue and Subhranshu Sahu)

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