October 11, 2019 / 4:04 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold climbs as investors await concrete signals on trade, Brexit

(Adds details and comments; updates prices)

* Palladium holds near all-time peak; set for fourth straight gain

* Gold eyes small weekly decline

By Arpan Varghese

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices climbed on Friday, settling into a narrow range, as investors awaited more clarity on global uncertainties including trade and Brexit, helping the metal shake off initial declines driven by hopes for a breakthrough in the U.S.-China talks.

Palladium, meanwhile, gained 0.2% to $1,703.44 an ounce as of 0638 GMT and held close to Thursday’s all-time peak of $1,704.59, putting it on track for an about 2% weekly gain.

The autocatalyst metal was also set to climb for a fourth straight session.

Spot gold inched 0.3% higher to $1,499.15 per ounce, but slipped about 0.3% in the week. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,502.30.

“We have news that is positive in terms of trade talks, but no actual resolution yet. The market is still a little sceptical,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

“A few things are still hanging, including a no-deal Brexit. Time is ticking but not much progress is happening. The (situation in) Hong Kong is also not resolved.”

Equity markets gained after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would meet with China’s top trade negotiator, while a White House official said the first day of talks had gone “probably better than expected.”

While the two sides could reach some sort of agreements on aspects such as currencies and copyright protections, they were not expected to address the most contentious issues.

The dollar, which has emerged as an alternative safe-haven during the trade war, was a shade weaker versus its rivals , helping drive gold prices higher.

With just three weeks to go before the UK is due to leave the European Union, lack of clarity on the terms or indeed whether it will leave at all also kept investors on the edge.

Adding to the global uncertainty was the attack on an Iranian-owned oil tanker on Friday. The vessel was struck by two missiles off the Saudi port of Jeddah, Iranian state television reported.

Investors will also keep a close eye on any cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve, with data on Thursday showing U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in September while underlying inflation retreated, supporting expectations the central bank will cut interest rates in October.

“Prices are on the downside, going away from core fundamentals and reacting to sentiments. When markets move sentimentally, you can expect a wild swing in prices,” said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research at SMC Comtrade.

Gold will be find support around $1,480 in the short term and face resistance at $1,540, she added.

In other metals, platinum rose 0.4% to $903.24 an ounce, while silver rose 1% to $17.66. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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