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PRECIOUS-Gold eases off 6-month peak as dollar moves higher

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(Updates prices, adds fresh comments and details)

* Gold up about 1.5 percent so far this week

* Platinum on track for first weekly gain in 7

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

By Swati Verma

BENGALURU, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower on Friday asthe dollar gained some ground against its peers, but concernsabout global growth kept interest in safe-haven assets firm,supporting prices near the previous session's near 6-month high.

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.2 percent at $1,257.01 per ounceat 1100 GMT, after jumping 1.3 percent in the previous sessionto hit its highest since June 26 at $1,266.40.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 fell 0.5 percent to $1,261.10 perounce.

"Gold has been on a great run over the last week as thedollar has fallen out of favour," said Craig Erlam, an analystat OANDA. "The relationship is very strong between the two andtoday's bounce in the greenback is taking the edge off the rallyin gold."

The dollar .DXY gained about 0.3 percent against acurrency basket, having fallen to its lowest in a month in theprevious session, and was set for its biggest weekly drop in 10months. USD/

The Fed's commitment on Wednesday to retain the core of itsplan to tighten monetary policy has rattled stock markets andpressured the dollar, making bullion more attractive as analternative. MKTS/GLOBUSD/

Markets were also concerned about a possible U.S. governmentshutdown this weekend.

"The risk-off environment and expectations for a slowdownnext year should also be supportive for gold. I think the nextbig test for it will come around $1,300. If it can break throughthis, then it's looking very bullish in the near future," Erlamsaid.

Gold has risen about 1.5 percent so far this week. Themetal, sought during times of political, economic and financialuncertainty, is also headed for its best quarter since March2017, up 5.8 percent.

"A growing number of gold traders and analysts remainbullish for gold, as the prospects of slowing economic growthand the end of Fed tightening should support prices of theprecious metal," SP Angel said in a note.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largestgold-backed exchange-traded fund, slipped 0.3 percent onThursday, having hit their highest in four months earlier thisweek. GOL/ETF

Elsewhere, palladium XPD= fell 1.7 percent to $1,242.99per ounce, but was up about 1 percent for the week in what wouldbe its fourth consecutive weekly gain.

Silver XAG= slid 1 percent to $14.62 per ounce, but hasgained about 0.4 percent so far in the week.

Platinum XPT= fell 1 percent to $785.74 per ounce, but washeaded for a weekly gain for the first time in seven. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey) ((Swati.Verma@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 651 848 5832,outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6356/1298 ; Reuters Messaging:swati.verma.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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