PRECIOUS-Gold rises on safe-haven demand, equity rebound caps gains

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* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust rose 2 pct on Wednesday

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns:

BENGALURU, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday asglobal growth worries and volatility in stock markets boosteddemand for the safe-haven metal, but gains were capped by asharp rebound in equities.

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.2 percent at $1,268.87 per ounceas of 0600 GMT, after hitting its highest since June 19 at$1,279.06 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 fell 0.1 percent to $1,271.8 perounce.

"Gold prices are primarily getting support on the back ofsafe-haven buying due to concerns about the health of the globaleconomy and heightened volatility in risk assets," said SugandhaSachdeva, vice president of metals, energy and currency researchat Religare Broking Ltd.

However, upbeat U.S. data and signs of easing trade tensionsbetween Washington and Beijing limited demand for the metal.

Robust sales during the U.S. holiday shopping seasonindicated consumer confidence was not entirely dented by recentvolatility in the U.S. stock markets, while media reports that aU.S. trade team will travel to Beijing to hold talks withChinese officials soothed investor nerves.

Asian shares gained in line with a jump on Wall Street withthe Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rocketing more than1,000 points for the first time on Wednesday. MKTS/GLOB

The greenback was a shade weaker versus a basket of majorcurrencies on Thursday, weighed down by a partial U.S.government shutdown, making gold cheaper for holders of othercurrencies. USD/

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is preparedto wait as long as it takes to get $5 billion from taxpayers forhis U.S.-Mexico border wall, a demand that has triggered apartial shutdown of the federal government that is now in itsfifth day with no immediate end in sight.

"Gold has been tracking steadily higher through December,"traders at MKS PAMP said in a note.

"On the low side, there appears to be good support at $1,265and we expect plenty of buying interest around the 200-daymoving average at $1,251."

SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 2.05 percent to790.02 tonnes on Wednesday from 774.14 tonnes on Monday,indicating improved investor appetite for gold.

Among other metals, silver XAG= slipped 0.2 percent to$15.00 per ounce, after hitting its highest level sincemid-August at $15.17 on Wednesday.

Platinum XPT= was up 0.6 percent at $799.20 per ounce,while palladium XPD= climbed over 1 percent to $1,267.49. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editingby Subhranshu Sahu) ((; +91 80 67490997 (If within U.S. call 651-848-5832); Reuters

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