August 2, 2019 / 11:35 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Volatile gold heads for weekly gain after falling about 1%

* Gold up 1.3% so far this week

* Palladium falls over 2%

* Platinum, silver set for first weekly decline in four

* Markets eye U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later (Updates prices)

By K. Sathya Narayanan

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Gold was on course for a weekly gain of around 1.3% on Friday despite volatile trading which saw prices fall as much as 1%after they scaled a two-week peak and as bullion faced technical resistance at $1,450.

Spot gold was down 0.6% at $1,436.83 per ounce by 1228 GMT, after earlier hitting $1,446.10, while U.S. gold futures were up 1.2% at $1,449.

Bullion rose more than 2% on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would slap an extra 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports and would raise it further if trade talks do not progress.

“(It’s) a bit of psychological move. Prices have been around these levels ($1,440-$1,450) a few times now, and it has difficulty to push higher, which makes investors a bit more nervous,” ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.

However, gold could break above $1,450 if the dollar comes under pressure due to weak U.S. data, she added.

U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday will be scrutinised for clues on economic strength, two days after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in a decade.

Lower interest rates tend to boost gold as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and also weighs on the dollar.

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.5% to 827.82 tonnes on Thursday.

Spot gold may retest resistance at $1,449 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a rise into the $1,461-$1,474 range, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Elsewhere, palladium fell 2.5% to $1,388.30 per ounce, after sliding below the $1,400 level for the first time since mid-June to its lowest level in more than seven weeks at $1,378.50.

Platinum was down 0.3% at $845.76 an ounce, while silver fell 1.1% to $16.14.

“The scenario is slightly more complicated for silver, as the component of the demand for this metal coming from the industrial sector is much higher than gold and the trade war could have a more significant impact,” Carlo Alberto De Casa, Chief Analyst, ActivTrades, said in a note.

Both silver and platinum were headed for their first weekly decline in four.

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith

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