PRECIOUS-Gold dips on profit-taking; analysts predict a rebound

    * Tech stocks lead S&P 500, Nasdaq to record high
    * Platinum heads for first weekly decline in four
    * Palladium holds near two-week high hit on Thursday
    * Gold demand in Asia sluggish due to higher prices

 (Updates prices, adds comment)
    By Renita D. Young and Eric Onstad
    Nov 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices dipped on Friday as some
investors locked in profits at the end of the week, and risk
appetite strengthened, but expectations hovered that gold prices
could move higher next week.
    Spot gold        was down 0.3 percent at $1,287.70 an ounce
by 1:46 p.m. EST (1846 GMT), on track for a 0.5 percent weekly
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery settled down
$4.90, or 0.4 percent, at $1,287.30 per ounce.
   "There's some liquidation of gold taking place, but light
volume," said Bill O’Neill, partner at Logic Advisors in Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey. 
    “Next week will be important, because we are close to that
$1,300 level and the market has the potential to break through 
and establish a slightly higher range,” O'Neill added.
    A key area of resistance remains at the $1,300 level,
traders said.
    U.S. Federal Reserve's minutes released Wednesday, regarded
as "dovish," supported gold and slightly lowered market
expectations of a March rate hike, said Georgette Boele,
commodity strategist at ABN AMRO in Amsterdam.
    A December rate hike has already been priced into the
market, traders said.
    The Fed's cautious view of inflation could lead to a longer
period of low interest rates, providing a solid platform for
gold investment, said Cameron Alexander, analyst with Thomson
Reuters-owned metals consultancy GFMS.     
    Higher interest rates tend to boost the U.S. dollar and push
bond yields up, pressuring gold prices by increasing the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.  
    The U.S. dollar index        on Thursday hit its lowest
since Sept. 26 against a basket of major currencies.
    Dollar-priced gold typically rises when the U.S. dollar
index dips. Though gold prices were down Thursday, the weaker
U.S. dollar kept gold supported and within a range, said Bart
Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.
    Technology stocks led the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record high
closes during a strong start to holiday shopping in the United
States, signaling investor risk appetite returning, traders
    Among other precious metals, silver        dipped 0.3
percent at $16.99 an ounce, while platinum        gained 0.8
percent at $940.50 an ounce.
    Palladium        dipped 1.39 percent to $997.25 an ounce.
    Silver slipped 1.8 percent for the week and is poised for
its first weekly decline in three weeks. Platinum lost 1.1 
percent for the week, on track for its first weekly fall in
four. Palladium climbed 0.4 percent, its first weekly rise in

 (Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru;
Editing by Keith Weir and Lisa Shumaker)