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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies with focus on trade talks; palladium breaks new records
Published at 17/10/2019 at 15:06

* Palladium hits fresh high of $1,783.21/oz

* GRAPHIC-Platinum/palladium ratio:

(Adds comments, updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Thursday as investors focused on lingering uncertainties over U.S.-China trade ties, while deficit-ridden palladium soared to another record high.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,494.05 per ounce at 1336 GMT. U.S. gold futures also rose 0.3% to $1,497.90.

Gold denominated in sterling had slid as much as 1.6% to its lowest since July 26 at 1,141.86 pounds an ounce earlier in the session after Britain and the European Union agreed to a new Brexit deal.

The agreement comes more than three years after Britons voted to leave the bloc, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson still faces a knife-edge vote in parliament to get it approved.

"(The) market will put this (Brexit) very quickly behind it, don't expect any long lasting impact and the focus entirely will be on the second big issue - the ongoing (U.S.-China) trade conflict and looming uncertainty about the kind of agreement that was reached," Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

In U.S.-China trade talks, negotiators were working on nailing down a phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Also helping prop up gold, the dollar fell to an over one-month low.

Weak U.S. retail sales data released on Wednesday fanned fears about the health of the world's biggest economy, aiding the safe-haven sentiment for bullion.

On the technical front, support lay around $1,475 and resistance, around resistance, around $1,515, said Afshin Nabavi, senior vice president at precious metals trader MKS SA.

"A break of $1,525 should be able to bring in more aggressive buying."

Meanwhile, palladium fell 0.2% to $1,763.34 an ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $1,783.21 earlier in the session.

Palladium is crucial in the making of catalytic converters used in exhaust systems of vehicles, and concerns over its supply running out have helped lift prices by more than 41% this year alone, despite a weakening auto sector.

"The fundamental data is deteriorating but completely being ignored by the market. Don't know for how long market can turn a blind eye on that (with the) very dire state of the global car market," Commerzbank's Fritsch said.

Platinum increased by 0.6% to $887.87 per ounce and silver climbed 0.8% higher to $17.52.

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(Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

((eileen.soreng@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: eileen.soreng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))