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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as lack of details on trade deal lifts demand

 (Recasts, adds comments, details, updates prices)
    * Gold on track for best week in nearly 3-months
    * U.S. dollar holds near 5-month low
    * Palladium hits record high of $1,979.95/oz
    * Silver, platinum eyes best week since October

    By Eileen Soreng
    Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday as investors
remained cautious about the developments in the United States
and China trade negotiations, while political uncertainties in
the world's biggest economy further boosted the metal's
safe-haven appeal.
    Spot gold        was up 0.5% at $1,477.09 per ounce by 1:42
p.m ET (1842 GMT) and with gains of more than 1.2% so far this
week, the yellow metal is on track for its best week in nearly
three-months.
    U.S. gold futures         settled up 0.6% at $1,481.20.
    China will likely hit $50 billion in purchases of U.S.
agricultural products, U.S. President Donald Trump said on after
earlier announcing that he would roll back scheduled tariffs on
Chinese imports as Washington and Beijing finalized an initial
trade deal.                          
    "Although there seems to be some progress, the lack of
details is causing a lot of concern that we're not as far along
in the trade deal as people would like and as a result we are
getting a flight to safety," said Jeffrey Sica, founder of
Circle Squared Alternative Investments.
    Stocks swung between gains and losses, as investors were
confused about signs of progress despite positive comments from
both sides.     
    "The fact that gold is trading near $1,475 shows that there
is still good interest in gold market... Although we have seen
some risk appetite emerging on the back of phase one trade deal,
other uncertainties continue to linger around U.S. political
outlook," Standard Chartered Bank analyst Suki Cooper said. 
    A Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives
committee approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction
against Republican President Donald Trump on Friday, making it
almost certain he will become the third American president in
history to be impeached.             
    The dollar        fell against a basket of currencies
helping dollar-denominated gold edge higher.       
    Elsewhere, palladium        fell 0.8% to $1,923.14 an ounce,
having notched up an all-time high of $1,979.95.
    "The auto sector is gradually gaining steam and with
palladium being used as an autocatalyst in cars, demand is going
up, while the supply still remains a constraint," said
Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig.
    Plagued by a supply deficit, the metal has gained about 2.5%
so far this week, predominantly supported by mine closures
across major producer South Africa.
    Platinum        fell 1.9% to $925.71 per ounce, but was up
about 3.5% for the week.
    Silver        inched down 0.2% at $16.90 but was set to
record its best weekly gain since the end of October.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru;
Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Chizu Nomiyama)
  
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