November 19, 2018 / 8:09 AM / 8 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips on profit-taking, softer dollar curbs declines

* Spot gold ends bounce below $1,231/oz - Technicals

* Palladium near an all-time high of $1,185.40/oz hit on Friday

* Holdings at SPDR Gold Trust fell on Friday (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

BENGALURU, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower as investors took some profit after the metal rose for four consecutive sessions last week, though the prices were supported by a muted dollar on Federal Reserve’s concerns over the global economy.

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,219.98 per ounce, as of 0745 GMT, having gained about 0.7 percent in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,219.6 per ounce.

“After four days of upside, gold is at a normal profit booking level ... 1,225-1,230 is a resistance zone for gold,” said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research, SMC Comtrade Ltd.

The dollar declined about 0.5 percent in the previous session as Fed policymakers signalled further interest rate increases ahead, but also raised muted concerns over a potential global slowdown, leading markets to suspect the tightening cycle may not have much further to run.

The possibility that the Fed might hold a neutral outlook beyond 2018, and a slowdown in the global economy amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade spat will keep investors a little more interested in gold’s safe haven appeal, said Benjamin Lu, a commodities analyst, Phillip Futures.

A fourth rate hike for this year is expected next month and policymakers had earlier indicated two more by June 2019.

“For December the rate hike is already priced in and it’s most likely going to happen,” Lu said.

“What people will be watching out for is any decline in economic indicators that could result in a softening of the dollar, (that would) help gold gain,” he said.

Prospects of higher U.S. interest rates are negative for dollar-priced gold as they raise the opportunity cost of holding the bullion.

Investors were also cautious on conflicting signals on the chance of a truce in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

Spot gold may end its current bounce below a resistance at $1,231 per ounce, and resume its downtrend from $1,243.28, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Holdings at SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.19 percent to 759.68 tonnes on Friday.

Hedge funds and money managers boosted their net short position in gold by 33,378 contracts to 70,864 contracts, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. This was the highest net short position in five weeks.

Among other precious metals, palladium was little changed at $1,176.97 per ounce, having climbed to an all-time high of $1,185.40 in the previous session.

Friday’s surge put palladium within a whisker of parity with gold for the first time in 16 years.

Silver slipped 0.4 percent to $14.36 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.8 percent to $840.00 per ounce.

Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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