(Recasts, updates prices, adds comment)
* Palladium falls over 3 pct after record high on Wednesday
* Platinum near three-month lows
* Markets await U.S. non-farm payrolls data due Friday
By Swati Verma and Sethuraman N R
BANGALURU, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday to near a
five-month peak on a weaker dollar and on expectations the pace of
U.S. interest rate hikes will slow, with the bullion also getting
support from falling equities.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,239.44 per ounce at 13:48
EST (1848 GMT), having earlier reached $1,244.32 per ounce, its
highest since July 17. U.S. gold futures settled up $1, or 0.1
percent, at $1,243.60.
"The weaker dollar is keeping gold positive at the moment. If
you look at the other markets as well, there is a kind of risk-off
situation going on," said Phil Streible, senior commodities
strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
The dollar fell about 0.4 percent as U.S. Treasury yields tumbled.
Stock markets slumped globally for a third straight session on
Thursday as the arrest in Canada of a top executive of Chinese tech
giant Huawei for extradition to the United States raised fears of a
flare-up in trade tensions.
The interest rate futures implied traders see no more than one
rate increase from the Fed in 2019, compared with expectations a month
earlier for possibly two, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.
Fed policymakers are still widely expected to raise interest rates
at their Dec. 18-19 meeting, but the market focus is on how many rate
increases will follow in 2019.
Traders' attention is now turning to Friday's U.S. non-farm
payrolls report, which is also likely to be on the U.S. central bank's
"If gold could hold above $1,235, this is definitely a very
good signal, while surpassing $1,243 would open space for further
recoveries," said ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa.
Meanwhile, palladium dropped after outshining the yellow metal for
the first time since 2002 on Wednesday.
Spot palladium slid 3.3 percent to $1,202.05 per ounce after
rising to an all-time high of $1,263.56 in the previous session.
"It's just profit-taking. Lots of money has moved in there so
investors are checking out and taking some profits," said Rob
Lutts, chief investment officer at Cabot Wealth Management.
Silver dipped 0.6 percent to $14.42 per ounce, while platinum
fell for a third session in a row, declining 1.5 percent to $788.30
per ounce. The precious metal earlier hit an almost three-month low of
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman, Swati Verma and K. Sathya Narayanan
in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
((Swati.Verma@thomsonreuters.com; +1-651-848-5832, outside N.America,
+91-80-6749-6356/1298; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))