March 29, 2019 / 5:15 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold faces worst month since Aug; palladium eyes biggest weekly dip in 3 yrs

* Gold on course for 2nd straight quarterly rise

* Silver touches lowest since end-Dec at $14.94/oz

* Market eyes U.S.-China trade talks

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: (Adds comments; updates prices)

By K. Sathya Narayanan

March 29 (Reuters) - Gold slipped on Friday and was headed for its worst month since August 2018 on a stronger dollar and equities, while palladium rose after three straight sessions of sharp declines, but was on course for its biggest weekly fall in more than three years.

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,288.56 per ounce by 0804 GMT, after declining about 1.5 percent in the previous session, the most in over seven months.

The metal is set for its first weekly fall in four and has lost about 1.9 percent this month. But on a quarterly basis, gold is en route to a second straight rise, due to a dovish U.S. Federal Reserve and concerns about a global economic slowdown.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 percent at $1,287.40 an ounce.

The dollar was poised for its strongest monthly gain in five, while Asian shares rose on hopes that Washington and Beijing are making progress in trade talks.

The world’s two largest economies started the new round of talks on Thursday to end the year-long tit-for-tat tariffs war.

“If we have a positive outcome from the trade talks, gold will be under pressure as investors will rotate out into more risk seeking assets,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA.

“But, if we have disappointing outcome then stocks will go down and people will move into safe-haven assets like gold. The market is very much in a wait and see mode.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the United States could lift some tariffs on China, while leaving others in place as part of an enforcement mechanism on a trade deal.

Meanwhile, spot palladium rose 1 percent to $1,361.26 an ounce on Friday, after touching a two-month low in the previous session.

The metal, used in the making of catalytic converters in vehicles, slid 6.6 percent on Thursday, the most since January 2017.

On a monthly basis, it was headed for its biggest drop since end-2016.

“Palladium rallied on tight supply concerns and it was a very speculative rally. (However) it fell (this week) as signs of (a slowdown in) global growth has sparked demand worries,” said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.

Elsewhere, silver was up 0.1 percent at $15.02 an ounce, after touching its lowest since late December 2018 at $14.94 earlier in the session, while platinum rose about 0.8 percent to $843.50 an ounce. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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