(Updates prices, adds fresh comments and details)
* Gold trading above 200-day moving average
* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
BENGALURU, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Gold jumped 1 percent onThursday, supported by a dip in the dollar and as global sharesslumped after the U.S. Federal Reserve quashed hopes of atoned-down approach to its rate hike trajectory.
Spot gold XAU= was trading at $1,255.37 per ounce by 1126GMT, having reached $1,258.03 in the previous session, itshighest level since July 10.
U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were up 0.2 percent at $1,258.80per ounce.
"Dollar weakness is the main reason why we're seeing gold goup. This is a move across all the precious metals, whichsuggests this is mainly coming from the dollar side," saidJulius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.
Weakness in equity markets was also lifting demand forsafe-haven bullion, Menke said.
Global stock markets slumped after the Fed dashed investorhopes of a more dovish policy outlook and the dollar index .DXY fell towards a 10-day low, making gold more appealing fornon-U.S. investors.
Gold also recouped losses from late in the previous sessionin the aftermath of the Fed announcement. The central bankraised interest rates for the fourth time this year andsignalled "some further gradual" hikes.
"The market was looking for an even more cautious assessmentgiven that the equity markets have been suffering and theeconomy is showing signs of a slowdown globally. These hopeswere disappointed," Menke said.
Gold has risen more than 8 percent from 19-month lows hit inmid-August and is on track for its biggest quarterly gain sinceMarch 2017.
"The situation for gold has improved of late, in ouropinion. Gold is making a renewed bid to overcome thetechnically important 200-day moving average this morning,"Commerzbank analysts said in a note.
"The technical picture has brightened, in other words, andgold demand is likewise picking up again."
Holdings of the SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largestgold-backed exchange-traded fund, jumped to their highest levelin four months this week. GOL/ETF
Among other precious metals, palladium XPD= rose 0.5percent to $1,266.26 per ounce, having hit a record high of$1,283.49 in the previous session.
Silver XAG= gained 0.7 percent to $14.70 per ounce, whileplatinum XPT= rose 0.8 percent to $792 per ounce. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Dale Hudson) ((Swati.Verma@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 651 848 5832,outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6356/1298 ; Reuters Messaging:firstname.lastname@example.org))
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