(Updates prices) * Markets await FOMC statement later in the day * Trade negotiators push for a delay in Dec. tariffs - WSJ * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl By K. Sathya Narayanan Dec 11 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Wednesday as market activity remained largely subdued ahead of the U.S. central bank's economic policy statement and a fast-approaching tariffs deadline, while palladium hovered near previous session's record high. Spot gold gained 0.1% to $1,465.18 per ounce as of 0741 GMT. U.S. gold futures were also up 0.1% at $1,469.50. "The market is in a holding pattern. Stocks, oil, currencies and gold are awaiting the events that are coming in the second half of the week," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. The Federal Reserve will issue a statement on its December policy meeting later in the day. Although the central bank is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, investors are eager to hear its outlook for the economy, mainly hit by the U.S.-China trade war. "The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will update the dot-plot, so that will be closely watched," Halley said. "If they provide a more dovish outlook, that would potentially weaken the dollar, which will be positive for gold." On the trade front, investors maintained a cautious stance as U.S. President Donald Trump has to decide whether to impose tariffs on nearly $160 billion in Chinese consumer goods just weeks before Christmas. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that trade negotiators on both sides were planning to delay the December tariffs. "Should both parties fail to reach positive consensus, gold prices will receive strength over lacklustre risk appetites for the near term," Phillip Futures analyst Benjamin Lu said in a note. On the technical front, signals are mixed for spot gold as it kept bouncing towards a resistance at $1,466 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. The palladium gained 0.2% to $1,899.67 an ounce, having surged past the key level of $1,900 an ounce for the first time on Tuesday. Speculative buying and a mine closure in major producer South Africa have supported palladium prices, which are expected to rise further in the longer term, a trader from Japan-based retailer Tokuriki Honten Co. said. Mines across South Africa were shutting down after a largest power blackout in more than a decade, with some major players forced to cut production. The news had also supported platinum prices, which rose as much as 3% in the last session, the most since at least early September. On Wednesday, the metal fell 0.5%, to $916.93 per ounce. Silver slipped 0.1% to $16.64 per ounce. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur)
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