* Gold on track for fourth straight week of gains
* Gold expected to retest resistance at $1,299/oz- technicals
* Markets holding back on possible equity rally- analyst
By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
BENGALURU, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices climbed on Friday as the
dollar retreated on expectations the Federal Reserve may pause
interest rate hikes if the U.S. economy slows this year, while
investors awaited news on progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks.
Spot gold rose 0.6 percent to $1,294.01 per ounce as at 0729
GMT, heading for a fourth straight weekly gain. The yellow metal is up
0.7 percent so far this week.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.5 percent at $1,294.3 per ounce.
"The weaker dollar and a more dovish Fed are the two most
alluring factors for gold," said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head
"There are concerns for the U.S. economy to slow down,
perhaps towards the end of 2019 and into 2020, so the markets are
pricing rate cuts."
The dollar slipped against other major currencies , having
rebounded on Thursday from three-month lows helped by Federal Reserve
Chairman Jerome Powell's comment suggesting the central bank is not
done tightening monetary policy just yet.
A partial U.S. government shutdown extended into its 20th day and
provided little comfort to the U.S. currency, after President Donald
Trump threatened on Thursday to use emergency powers to bypass U.S.
Congress to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"The (gold) market is holding back a little as they are
concerned the equity market could rally significantly on trade war
truce," Innes said.
Asian equities inched up to one-month highs, but the rally's
momentum slowed partly as investors sought more clarity on whether the
United States and China could make headways on their trade talks.
"Dilemma over the U.S.-Sino trade dispute is still raising
eyebrows and needs clarity," said Sugandha Sachdeva,
vice-president - metals, energy and currency research, Religare
"Once trade issues are resolved, the dollar is likely to
remain suppressed, losing its appeal as a safe haven...Gold on the
other hand would benefit."
Also aiding gold's upward trend are concerns about weakening
global growth, further emphasised by sombre data out of Switzerland
and France on Thursday.
"Gold will need some fresh news to trigger prices to break
the $1,300 level bar. $1,299 would be a critical level for further
upside with mild resistance at $1,310," said Hareesh V, head of
commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.
Spot gold is expected to retest a resistance at $1,299 per ounce,
with a good chance of breaking above this level and rising further to
$1,311, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Palladium climbed 0.2 percent to $1,324.90 per ounce, and was
up about 2.5 percent for the week.
Silver rose about rose 1.1 percent to $15.73 per ounce, while
platinum was up 0.6 percent to $824.60.
(Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and K. Sathya Narayanan in
Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Shreejay Sinha)
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