January 25, 2019 / 11:32 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold up as dollar eases; global growth concerns lend support

* Economic conditions could help gold break above $1,300-analyst

* Platinum sets sights on first weekly gain in three

* Palladium heads for first weekly fall in five (Updates prices)

By Arijit Bose

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Gold gained on Friday as the dollar eased from a multi-week peak, with bullion seen consolidating in a narrow range supported by concerns about global growth and political uncertainties including the U.S. government shutdown.

Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,283.80 per ounce as of 1259 GMT, on course for a small weekly gain.

U.S. gold futures climbed 0.3 percent to $1,283.20 per ounce.

“Gold seems to be finding a level and it is quite comfortable around it at the moment,” Capital Economics analyst Ross Strachan said, adding economic conditions still provide underlying strength for the metal to surpass $1,300.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, having climbed to a more than five-week peak last session, making gold cheaper for holders of non-U.S. currencies.

On an intra-day basis, “gold is up due to a somewhat weaker dollar behind it,” said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

However, risks “from economic and political perspectives, are keeping gold relatively well supported going forward”, Briesemann added.

A synchronised global economic slowdown is underway and any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war would trigger a sharper downturn, according to the latest Reuters polls of hundreds of economists from around the world.

Investors are also worried about the impact of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, now in its 34th day, with two bills to end the partial shutdown failing to win enough votes in the Senate.

Yet another key focus is U.S.-China trade relations, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stating on Thursday the two countries were “miles and miles” from resolving issues.

“We have seen quite a bit of asset reallocation in recent times, the Exchange Traded Fund holdings have risen quite substantially in recent weeks and months,” Strachan said.

Holdings of SPDR Gold GLD, the largest gold-based ETF, hovered around their highest levels since late June 2018.

Among other metals, palladium, which hit a record high of $1,434.50 an ounce last week on low inventories and rising demand, was steady at $1,319.50.

The metal was, however, heading for its first weekly drop in five, falling about 4 percent so far this week.

Silver rose 0.4 percent to $15.37 per ounce, while platinum gained 0.3 percent to $803.30, on track for its first weekly gain in three. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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