December 18, 2019 / 11:06 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips on stronger dollar, palladium pulls back from high

 (Updates prices, adds comments)
    * Gold set for biggest annual gain since 2010
    * Markets eye U.S. President Trump's impeachment vote
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl 

    By Swati Verma
    Dec 18 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Wednesday as a rising
dollar offset support for the safe haven metal from lingering
U.S.-China trade uncertainty, while palladium slipped after a
record run to the key $2,000 an ounce level.
    Spot gold        was 0.3% lower at $1,471.96 per ounce by
1410 GMT, reversing gains from earlier in the session. U.S. gold
futures         were down 0.3% at $1,476.
    "The dollar is a little bit stronger,” said Afshin Nabavi,
senior vice president at precious metals trader MKS SA, adding,
that due to a lack of follow-through on the upside,  investors
had started modestly selling gold.
    A break of the $1,465-$1,495 range could attract fresh
interest, Nabavi added.  
    The dollar strengthened as U.S. economic data suggested the
Federal Reserve was unlikely to cut interest rates further and
as liquidity waned before the coming holidays.       
            
    World stocks also remained just off record highs.
           
    Gold, often used as a hedge against political and economic
uncertainties, is however on track for its biggest annual gain
since 2010, bolstered by interest rate cuts by major central
banks and the protracted tariff dispute.
    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday
details of Chinese purchases under the phase one deal would be
detailed in writing, but did not say when the written agreement
would be released.             
    "This is only phase one (of the trade deal) and there are
still open questions as to what will happen next year with IT
protection and all the other major issues still to be
addressed," said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler. 
    Also on investors' radar is a U.S. House of Representatives'
vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump later in the
day.
    Palladium dipped 1% to $1,935.38 per ounce. The autocatalyst
metal hit a record high of $1,998.43 in the previous session,
driven by a sustained shortfall and worsened by recent mine
closures in major producer South Africa.
    "The market set their sights on the key target. Once we did
that, we definitely did see some profit-taking - that's the
reason we saw that price inflection," said ING analyst Warren
Patterson.
    Silver        fell 0.6% to $16.90 per ounce, while platinum
       was down 0.2% at $925.37.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru;
Editing by Edmund Blair, Kirsten Donovan)
  
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