Dec 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Monday, holding below a near two-month peak hit in the previous session, as investors hedged against risks in thin year-end trading after U.S. military strikes in the Middle East. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,514.56 per ounce by 0112 GMT. Prices hit their highest since Nov. 1 at $1,515.09 on Friday. U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,517.50. * Gold prices have risen about 18% this year, mainly due to the 17-month-long Sino-U.S. tariff war and its impact on global economic growth. * U.S. officials said on Sunday that air strikes in Iraq and Syria against an Iran-backed militia group were successful, but warned that "additional actions" might still be taken in the region to defend U.S. interests. * President Donald Trump was briefed by his top national security advisers on the air strikes against what U.S. officials said was an Iran-sponsored group in Iraq and Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. * Investors also kept a close eye on developments regarding a trade agreement between Washington and Beijing after Trump last week said there would be a signing ceremony for the first phase of the deal. * Indicative of investor sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.1% to 893.25 tonnes on Friday from 892.37 tonnes on Thursday. * Gold prices flipped to a premium last week in India due to limited supplies even as demand remained subdued, while other Asian regions barely saw any holiday purchasing. * Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.9% to$17.91 per ounce, while platinum climbed 0.8% to $952. Palladium edged 0.2% higher to $1,909.19 per ounce. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0600 Russia Markit Mfg Nov 0800 Spain GDP Q3 0800 Spain HICP Flash YY Dec 0800 Switzerland KOF Indicator Dec 1230* Brazil Primary Budget Surplus Nov 1445* U.S. Chicago PMI Dec 1500 U.S. Pending Home Sales Change MM Nov 1530 U.S. Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey Dec *approximate release time (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill and Subhranshu Sahu)
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