PRECIOUS-Gold little changed amid trade deal doubts; set for worst month in 3 years

 (Updates prices)
    * Palladium climbs to record $1,844.50/oz, up for 4th month 
    * Break below $1,445/oz for gold could cause correction -
    * Dollar set for highest weekly finish against yen since May

    By Sumita Layek
    Nov 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Friday
as investors refrained from making big bets amid doubts whether
the United States and China could seal a trade deal. 
    The metal was, however, on track for its biggest monthly
decline in three years, as upbeat comments by both countries
earlier this month had raised hopes of an interim deal.
    Palladium scaled a new high of $1,844.50 an ounce, extending
its record-setting run on supply deficit.
    Spot gold        was flat at $1,458.47 per ounce by 0749
GMT, having shed 0.2% so far this week. U.S. gold futures
        rose 0.3% to $1,458.
    "(Gold) Market definitely is divided because previously most
people were thinking that a trade deal is going to happen, and
now they are not sure which side it is going to go, and that
reflects in the trading prices," said Brian Lan of Singapore
dealer GoldSilver Central.
    The dollar was set for its highest weekly finish against the
yen since May, while global shares stalled just short of an
all-time peak as some doubts remained about an interim deal.
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law
congressional legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong,
prompting Beijing to warn of "firm counter measures".
    The signing of the bill is a provocative but symbolic move,
said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets,
adding that: "China's response was also largely a symbolic
retaliation, this makes no impact to the trade negotiations."
    For the month, prices were down almost 4%, their biggest
since November 2016, as earlier optimism about a deal between
Beijing and Washington dampened demand for the safe-haven metal.
    However, gold, considered a safe store of value during
economic or political uncertainties, has gained more than 13%
this year, mainly due to the tariff dispute.    
    "A break above $1,500/oz would suggest the potential for
additional upside in prices. In contrast, a break below
$1,445/oz would point to a more significant correction underway,
and we would expect further losses for gold prices," Fitch
Solutions said in a note.
    Among other precious metals, palladium        fell 0.4% to
$1,834.14 per ounce, after touching an all-time peak.
    The metal, used in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful
emissions, has gained about 45% this year and was headed for its
fourth consecutive monthly gain on sustained supply issues.
    Platinum        shed 0.3% to $898.72 per ounce and silver
       rose 0.6% to $16.96.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Aditya Soni)