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PRECIOUS-Gold perks up after Fed minutes but gains capped by trade optimism
Published at 09/10/2019 at 19:27

* Most Fed policymakers believed 25 bps cut needed- Sept. minutes

* U.S.-China trade talks set to start Thursday in Washington

* Turkey launches military operation in northeast Syria

(Updates prices, adds details)

By Swati Verma

Oct 9 (Reuters) - Gold eked out gains on bets of further U.S. Federal Reserve rate cuts following the release of minutes from the central bank's September policy meeting on Wednesday, but hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal buoyed risk sentiment and capped bullion's gains.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,507.52 per ounce by 02:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled up 0.6% at $1,512.80 an ounce.

"The fact is that the Fed is adding a significant amount of liquidity to the market and they are increasing the money supply and that in my opinion is why gold is firmer today," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday flagged openness to further rate cuts to fend off global economic risks and said the Fed would "soon announce measures to add to the supply of reserves over time."

The minutes showed most Fed policymakers supported the need for an interest rate cut in September.

Capping bullion's gains, stocks rose as media reports raised hopes of progress in trade talks between the United States and China.

High-level talks involving Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are planned for Thursday and Friday.

"We do have some light optimism on the trade front. However, when everybody steps away, they realise that the real chances of a trade deal, even partial, are small at best," High Ridge Futures' Meger said.

A Bloomberg report on Wednesday said China was still open to agreeing to a partial trade deal with the United States, citing an official with direct knowledge of the talks.

On the Brexit front, EU officials denied on Wednesday that Brussels was preparing a major concession to Britain to secure a deal.

Also on the radar were other major geopolitical developments, with Turkey launching a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday.

"There are lingering geopolitical matters that have many traders and investors looking to the safe-haven metals as an investment," Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst with Kitco Metals, wrote in a note.

Silver was up 0.3% at $17.77 an ounce, while platinum

rose 0.2% to $891.73.

Palladium gained 0.3% to $1,680 an ounce. Prices had risen to $1,691.34 an ounce earlier, hovering just below last week's record peak.

"Palladium is likely to stay in a wide deficit. Likely firm demand from the automotive sector will help keep the market tight," James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC wrote in a note.

(Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Editing by Matthew Lewis, Tom Brown, Kirsten Donovan)

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