(Updates prices) * New orders for U.S.-made capital goods barely rise * Gold hits more than one-week high; platinum rises 3% * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri Dec 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices gained on Monday on sparse trade ahead of the holiday season, with lingering concerns about the health of major global economies supporting demand for safe-haven bullion. Spot gold was up 0.5% to $1,484.97 per ounce as of 01:33 p.m. ET (1833 GMT). Prices notched $1,485.71 earlier in the session, the highest since Dec. 12. U.S. gold futures settled 0.5% higher at $1,488.70 per ounce. "Investors are looking at political risks in the longer term ... There are potential economic risks still in the majority of economies. That's not going to go away in a hurry," said INTL FCStone analyst Rhona O'Connell. The United States and China have still not signed a so-called Phase 1 trade deal and tensions in the Middle East are contributing to gold's appeal, she added. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States and China would "very shortly" sign the trade agreement. China said on Monday it would lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to some types of semiconductors next year. While the world's two largest economies have exchanged banter about the conditions of the trade deal, there is much room for uncertainty. Any hints of a fall-through in talks could propel gold higher, analysts say. The 17-month trade war has rocked markets and fanned global recessionary fears. China's economy is expanding at its weakest rate in nearly 30 years and could face more downward pressure next year. Canada's economy unexpectedly shrank by 0.1% in October, the first monthly decline since February. Fresh data from the United States provided little respite, with new orders for U.S.-made capital goods barely rising in November and shipments declining, suggesting business investment will probably remain a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter. "Despite the upbeat tenor of the overall marketplace, the safe-haven metals are showing keen resilience and even a bit of bullishness as global stock markets rally," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs on Monday. Palladium was up 1.2% at $1,877.60 an ounce, but still far from the previous week's record high of $1,998.43. Platinum climbed 2.9% to $935.02 an ounce, while silver rose 1.3% to $17.41. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler and Grant McCool)
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