for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady but head for first weekly drop of 2017

* U.S. equity markets turn lower
    * Palladium set for 5.8 pct weekly slide
    * GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
    * Coming up: Fed meeting Jan. 31-Feb. 1

 (Rewrites with updated prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW
YORK dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed
on Friday, giving up earlier losses as U.S. equity markets and
Treasury yields turned lower, but the metal was on track for its
first weekly loss of the year after traders cashed in on this
week's rally to two-month highs. 
    Spot gold was 0.1 percent higher at $1,190.06 an
ounce by 2:56 p.m. EST (1956 GMT), while U.S. gold futures
 for February delivery settled down 0.1 percent at
$1,188.40 per ounce. 
    The dollar was 0.2 percent up against a basket of
currencies, hanging on to positive territory despite data
showing U.S. economic growth slowed more than expected in the
fourth quarter.  
    That helped to pull gold further down from Tuesday's high of
$1,219.59 an ounce and set it on track to end a four-week
winning streak with a 1.6 percent weekly loss.
    "It turned up because equities went lower," said Bob
Haberkorn, senior market strategist for RJO Futures in Chicago.
    "I think this could be short-lived. Next week we've got some
news from the Fed coming out as well as the January job report
(on Friday)."
    The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to release a statement
on Wednesday after a two-day meeting. 
    "The dollar is being a big influence on gold right now, so
that's what's behind the current move," ING analyst Hamza Khan
said. "But overall I think the weeks of gains we've had are more
indicative than this pull-back, which might just be due to
people locking in some profits and waiting for the Fed meetings
before they get long again."
    Analysts have scaled back expectations for gold prices this
year after the metal's weak fourth-quarter performance, with the
prospect of further U.S. interest rate hikes from the Fed
weighing on sentiment. 
    Gold demand in India improved this week, boosted by a fall
in prices overseas, though some consumers are waiting in the
hope that import duty will be cut in the government's budget
next week. 
    "Most of Asia is already off for the holidays, which is a
good time for many to short the metal," said Ronald Leung, chief
dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
    Silver was up 2.1 percent at $17.11 an ounce, while
platinum rose 0.9 percent to $982.10. 
    Palladium was up 2.8 percent to $741.40, having
earlier hit its lowest since Jan. 4 at $708.97. The autocatalyst
metal is on track to fall 5.8 percent this week, its poorest
weekly performance since October. 

    
 (Additional reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru, Yuzuha
Oka in Tokyo; Editing by David Evans and Grant McCool)
for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up