PRECIOUS-Gold up over 1% as central banks hold off on interest rate hikes

(Updates prices)

* BoE keeps interest rates on hold

* U.S. nonfarm payrolls data on Friday in focus

* Gold could go north of $1,800 by the end of the week - analyst

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices were poised for their best day in three weeks on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England indicated they were in no rush to raise interest rates.

Spot gold rose 1.3% to $1,791.71 per ounce by 01:38 p.m. ET (1738 GMT) after touching a three-week low in the prior session. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up 1.7% to $1,793.50 per ounce.

The Fed indicated that they are probably not going to mess with interest rates, and that is bullish for metals, said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

The U.S. central bank on Wednesday signaled that it would stay patient on interest rates raises and that it would start trimming its massive bond-buying program this month.

Following that, the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, dashing expectations for a hike that would have made it the first of the world’s big central banks to raise rates after the pandemic.

“The Bank of England leaving rates unchanged overnight shows central banks right now don’t have an appetite for higher rates,” Haberkorn said, adding that gold could by Friday go “north of $1,800 just based on sentiment and the technicals.”

Ultra-loose U.S. monetary policy has helped drive gold sharply higher since the financial crisis of the late 2000s, with low interest rates cutting the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets and inflation fears stoking demand for a hedge.

Independent analyst Ross Norman said strong physical demand for gold was supporting the market, as India’s Diwali festival generally boosts sales of the precious metal.

Elsewhere, spot silver rose 1.2% to $23.76 per ounce and palladium gained 0.1% at $2,001.18 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.2% to $1,026.56 per ounce. (Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shailesh Kuber)