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PRECIOUS-Gold firms above $1,500 as bond yields dip on stimulus hopes
Published at 20/08/2019 at 19:25

* Investors await Fed minutes on Wednesday, Jackson Hole symposium

* Silver rises over 1% to above $17; Palladium hits near 3-wk high

* Palladium to remain in structural deficit in 2019 - Nornickel

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns:

(Updates prices)

By Sumita Layek and Asha Sistla

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Tuesday to firm above $1,500, recovering from a more than 1% slide in the previous session, as U.S. yields fell on increasing expectations for looser monetary policy to address fears of a global downturn.

Spot gold was up 0.7% at $1,505.68 per ounce by 1:53 p.m. EDT (1753 GMT), after falling to a near one-week low of $1,492.10 on Monday. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.3% to $1,515.7.

Monday's correction followed a sharp price rally earlier this month that took gold to six-year highs, largely on the back of U.S.-China trade war concerns, expectations for further cuts in U.S. interest rates and as the U.S. yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007.

"The yield curve inverting has spooked investors in the U.S.," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, adding "People are kind of looking to buy dips ahead of the Federal Reserve's minutes coming out and what news will come out at Jackson Hole."

Investors will closely scan the minutes from the U.S. Fed's July policy meeting due on Wednesday, with focus on the central bank's Jackson Hole seminar and the Group of Seven summit this week.

"If they (the Fed) talk about more interest rate cuts for the rest of the year, gold will continue higher, but if they say 'wait-and-see', gold will probably sell off," Haberkorn said.

Lower U.S. interest rates put pressure on the dollar and bond yields, increasing the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

U.S. stocks were trading slightly lower after a three-day run, while U.S. Treasury yields fell as the prospect of more central bank easing boosted demand for government debt.

"Participants will be eager to hear what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has to say about the future of interest rates, especially now that the bond market has already driven yields sharply lower on the long end," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

The shift in sentiment towards riskier assets contributed to a more than 1.2% drop in gold prices on Monday, its biggest daily percentage decline in a month. But prices have risen 17% this year and more than $100 so far this month.

Meanwhile, palladium climbed 1.3% to $1,491.88 per ounce, having earlier hit a more than two-week high of $1,495.59.

Russia's Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), the world's largest producer of the autocatalyst metal, said the global palladium market will remain in structural deficit this year due to growing demand from the auto sector amid tighter emission regulations.

Elsewhere, silver rose above the $17 per ounce mark, gaining 1.9% to $17.17, while platinum was little changed at $850.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek and Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Andrea Ricci)

((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067491638; Reuters Messaging: Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))