* Palladium jumps over 4 pct to two-week high
* China Q1 GDP up 6.4 pct vs analysts' expectations of 6.3 pct
* SPDR Gold holdings down 4.5 pct so far in 2019
* Weaker dollar limits gold's decline
By Brijesh Patel
April 17 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Wednesday, holding near the 2019
lows touched in the previous session, as economic growth data from
China assuaged concerns about global growth and drove investors into
Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,274.15 per ounce as of 1:40
p.m. EDT (1740 GMT), after having fallen as much as 1.2 percent to
$1,272.70, its lowest since Dec. 27, on Tuesday.
U.S. gold futures settled unchanged at $1,276.80.
"The pretty good Chinese data implies the concerns of a
slowdown in global growth have been mitigated to a great extent, which
should elevate risk appetite, in turn pressuring gold," said Bart
Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.
China's economic growth in the first quarter remained steady at
6.4 percent, topping expectations for a 6.3 percent expansion.
The data boosted global appeal for riskier assets and pushed
overall gains in stock markets.
However, a slightly weaker dollar gave some support for
bullion, analysts said.
On the technical front, gold's break below the psychologically
significant $1,300-per-ounce mark and other key support levels,
including the 100- and 50-day moving averages, signaled a further
downside to prices, analysts and traders said.
Further weakness in gold is possible in the near term, potentially
testing the $1,259 level, which is likely to hold, Commerzbank
analysts wrote in a research note.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, have fallen 4.5 percent this year.
On the flip side, gold was likely to climb toward $1,400, while
silver could rise to $17 per ounce by year-end since overall weak
global growth could take a toll on both equity prices and risk
appetite, analysts at Capital Economics said in a note.
"That said, we expect risk appetite to gradually return as
the U.S. economy picks up," it said.
Silver rose 0.1 percent to $14.99 an ounce.
Meanwhile, spot palladium jumped more than 4 percent to a near
two-week high at $1,406.81 an ounce. The metal had soared to an
all-time peak of $1,620.53 last month driven by a stark supply deficit.
Platinum gained 0.7 percent to $883.
"Strong GDP data from China showed the economy is starting to
hit back up again ... greater growth will see the economy expanding,
translating into more demand for vehicles, in turn boosting demand for
both platinum and palladium," said Phillip Streible, senior
commodities strategist at RJO Futures.
Both metals are primarily consumed by automakers for catalytic
converter manufacturing, but platinum is more heavily used in the
diesel vehicles that have fallen out of favor since the Volkswagen
emissions-rigging scandal broke in 2015.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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