Dec 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Friday held steady near a one-month high hit in the previous session, but were on track for their best year since 2010, mainly driven by a softer dollar and political uncertainties around the globe. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was little changed at $1,294.70 an ounce at 0041 GMT, having hit its highest since Nov. 29 at $1,295.21 in the previous session. * Gold benefited from a technically-driven momentum after closing above its 100-day moving average on Wednesday for the first time since late November, analysts said. * Spot gold has gained over 1.5 percent so far this week in what could be its third straight weekly rise, and more than 12 percent so far this year. * The yellow metal is also on track for its best month since August, having risen 1.5 percent. * Spot prices on Thursday rose for a ninth straight session, not including the Christmas holiday. That is the longest string of daily gains since July 2011. * U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,296.80 an ounce. * The dollar index is down more than 9 percent so far this year, set for its biggest annual loss since 2003. That has helped lift gold nearly 5 percent from a near five-month low of $1,235.92 struck in mid-December. * Many investors predicted the dollar would get a boost from U.S. tax cuts, tighter central bank monetary policy and strong growth rates in 2017. Instead, the currency has only weakened. * Meanwhile, equity markets have feasted on a global economic growth recovery and accommodative monetary policy in 2017, which has, in turn, lifted company earnings and commodity prices. * Net gold imports by major consumer China via main conduit Hong Kong fell 23.6 percent in November from the previous month, data showed. * Spot silver was down 0.1 percent at $16.82 on Friday. Silver prices hit their highest in over a month on Thursday at $16.88 an ounce. * Silver has risen 5.7 percent so far this year. * Spot platinum fell 0.1 percent to $921.74 on Friday, after touching a more than three-week high in the previous session at $927.50 an ounce. Platinum is up 2.6 percent so far this year. * Palladium was mostly unchanged at $1,065.74 on Friday. It touched its highest since February 2001 at $1,072 on Thursday. * Palladium has risen nearly 57 percent so far this year, making it the best performing precious metal, and also heading for its best year since 2010. * Palladium has risen due to strong demand from autocatalyst makers amid production shortages. Analysts expect that about 80 percent of global palladium demand will come from autocatalysts for gasoline-powered cars, which many now prefer over diesel-fuelled vehicles. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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