* SPDR gold holdings gain for the first time since end-Jan
* Gold may retrace into $1,321-$1,331 range -technicals
* Palladium trading near record-high
By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
Feb 21 (Reuters) - Gold was trading below the previous session's
10-month peak on Thursday as the dollar gained after minutes from the
last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting rekindled expectations of another
rate hike this year.
Investors were also keeping a close eye on talks to end a trade
dispute between China and the United States.
Spot gold was steady at $1,338.76 per ounce as of 0753 GMT,
having touched $1,346.73 per ounce in the previous session, its
highest level since April 19.
U.S. gold futures were down 0.5 percent at $1,341.80 an ounce.
"There are both technical and fundamental reasons for this
pull back in gold prices. It is under some technical selling pressure
at the moment," said Margaret Yang, market analyst with CMC
"It was a clearly dovish statement by the Fed," she said
adding that the dollar rebounded after the minutes and gold traders
are now taking profits.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was
up 0.2 percent.
The Fed, in the minutes of its latest meeting in January, said the
U.S. economy and its labour market remained strong, prompting some
expectations of at least one more interest rate hike this year.
Higher interest rates make gold less attractive since it does not
pay interest and costs to store and insure.
Spot gold may retrace into a range of $1,321-$1,331 per ounce and
it seems to have peaked around a resistance at $1,351 per ounce,
according to Reuters analyst Wang Tao.
Markets were still on the lookout for signs of progress in the
latest round of trade negotiations between the United States and
China, amid expectations that U.S. President Donald Trump will meet
Chinese President Xi Jinping next month to strike a deal.
"After finding major support at the $1,300 per ounce mark,
(gold) prices have witnessed an upthrust, and moved past the
invincible $1,326 per ounce mark," said Sugandha Sachdeva,
vice-president, metals, energy and currency research, Religare Broking Ltd.
"This has set the path for gold to traverse on the upwards
trajectory towards $1,365 per ounce in the near-term."
Reflecting investor appetite for bullion, holdings of the SPDR
Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund,
rose 0.26 percent to 794.50 tonnes on Wednesday. The holdings rose for
the first time since end-January.
Among other precious metals, palladium fell 0.8 percent to
$1,476.64 per ounce. The autocatalyst metal had surpassed the crucial
$1,500 psychological level the previous session on market supply woes.
Spot platinum dipped 0.2 percent to $821.26 an ounce, while
silver fell 0.5 percent to $15.95.
(Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by
Joseph Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)
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