March 21, 2019 / 1:38 AM / 2 months ago

REFILE-PRECIOUS-Gold near 3-week peak on dovish Fed; palladium at record high

(Corrects spelling of Fed in sixth bullet point)

March 21 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday, trading close to a three-week peak hit in the previous session after the U.S. Federal Reserve phased out a possibility of an interest rate hike this year, while palladium scaled a record peak on supply issues.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold gained 0.3 percent at $1,315.81 per ounce as of 0114 GMT, after touching its highest since Feb. 28 at $1,316.58 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures rose 1.1 percent to $1,316.10 an ounce.

* Spot palladium gained 0.4 percent to $1,609.70 an ounce, after registering a record high at $1,615.5 earlier in the session.

* The dollar nursed heavy losses in Asia on Thursday after the Federal Reserve stunned markets by abandoning all plans to raise rates this year, a signal its three-year campaign to normalise policy might be at an end.

* Having downgraded their U.S. growth, unemployment and inflation forecasts, policymakers said the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate, or fed funds rate, was likely to remain at the current level of between 2.25 percent and 2.50 percent at least through this year.

* Shares in Asia rose on Thursday after the Fed’s policy decision, but concerns over slowing global growth and U.S.-China trade talks are expected to limit gains.

* U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that the United States may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement.

* Prime Minister Theresa May made an impassioned appeal to British lawmakers to support her on Wednesday after the European Union said it could only grant her request to delay Brexit for three months if parliament next week backed her plans for leaving.

* Rapid flows of investor money into physically backed platinum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and a sharp drop in speculative bets on lower prices suggest the autocatalyst metal is on the verge of a recovery.

* Citigroup Inc plans to sell several tons of gold placed as collateral by Venezuela’s central bank on a $1.6 billion loan after the deadline for repurchasing them expired this month, sources said, a setback for President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to hold onto the country’s fast-shrinking reserves.

* South Africa’s labour court ruled on Wednesday that the extension of a wage agreement to cover all gold unions and non-unionised employees of mining group Sibanye-Stillwater is valid and lawful, the miner said.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0930 UK Retail sales (Feb) 1200 UK BOE policy rates (March) 1230 U.S. Initial jobless claims- weekly 2330 Japan Consumer prices (CPI) (Feb) (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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