August 4, 2015 / 10:05 AM / in 4 years

PRECIOUS-Gold pressured by rising dollar; platinum at 6-1/2-year low

* Fed’s Lockhart says supports September rate hike -WSJ

* Platinum, palladium fall on oversupply, weak China demand

* U.S. dollar extends gains (Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina

NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Gold retreated from intraday highs on Tuesday as the dollar moved higher and a voting member of the U.S. Federal Reserve said he is ready to support an interest rate increase in September.

Platinum dropped to the lowest in 6-1/2 years and palladium to the lowest since late-2012 on oversupply and sluggish auto catalyst demand.

Gold prices fell from their highs after Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said it would take “significant deterioration” in the U.S. economy for him to not support a rate increase in September, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The more nervousness created about a September rate hike, the worse it is for gold so that took the market as we go into the close,” said Bill O’Neill, co-founder of commodities investment firm LOGIC Advisors in New Jersey.

“What the Fed is trying to do is to gradually prepare the market for a rate hike.”

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,087.61 an ounce at 3:10 p.m. EDT (1910 GMT), not far above the $1,077 it hit on July 24, the lowest since February 2010.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up 0.1 percent at $1,090.70 an ounce.

The dollar rose 0.4 percent against a basket of major currencies.

The next main data event is the release of U.S. non-farm payrolls on Friday.

An improving labor market could strengthen the dollar further, indicating more price declines for non-interest bearing gold, which fell nearly 7 percent in price in July.

“In the run-up to the first Fed rate hike it is going to be difficult for gold to rally ... the metal has been in a four-year bear market already and we can’t see any sustained driver that would take prices higher,” Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Widmer said.

The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index , a global price benchmark, rose from Monday’s 12-year low.

The industrial precious metals remained weak, however.

Platinum dipped to its lowest since February 2009 at $940.50 an ounce, while palladium hit nearly a three-year low of $586.33 an ounce.

“What has hit palladium is that projections of car sales into the future were (relying) on strong growth in China and emerging markets,” said Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner.

“But China is flatlining and many emerging markets are down double-digit percentages. The outlook now looks a lot worse than a year or so ago.”

Spot silver rose 0.3 percent to $14.52 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr in Manila; Editing by Jason Neely, David Evans and Steve Orlofsky)

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