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PRECIOUS-Palladium hits record high on potential Russia ban; gold gains

* Palladium hits a record high of $1,593.77/oz

* Gold edges up for a third consecutive session

* SPDR gold holdings post biggest daily gain since Jan. 18 (Adds comments, updates prices)

By K. Sathya Narayanan and Swati Verma

March 19 (Reuters) - Palladium surged to a record on Tuesdayas the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supplyconcerns for the autocatalyst metal, while gold rose onexpectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will stay dovish at itsmeeting this week.

Spot palladium XPD= rose 0.4 percent to $1,589.83 anounce, as of 0642 GMT, after marking an all-time high of$1,593.77 earlier in the session.

"The market is in uncharted territory and on the fundamentalside the ban from Russia has supported the prices," said AjayKedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai.

"Though there are concerns that auto sales are falling, thesupply deficit problem is offsetting it," he said, adding themarket is highly overbought.

The price of the metal, used mainly in catalytic converters,has nearly doubled since mid-August and is up about 26 percentso far the year.

Russia, a major producer of palladium, is mulling a ban onthe export of precious metals scrap and tailings to promotedomestic refining of the materials.

On the demand side, expectations for more economic stimulusby China, the world's biggest auto market, could be a short-termdriver for the already tight market, said Ilya Spivak, a seniorcurrency strategist at DailyFX.

Meanwhile, spot gold XAU= gained 0.3 percent to $1,307.12per ounce, as the dollar languished near two-week lows hit inthe previous session on growing expectations the Fed would shiftto a more accommodative policy stance. USD/

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 rose about 0.4 percent to$1,306.70.

"Gold has been edging up and the main driver is a softeningdollar," said Margaret Yang, a market analyst with CMC Markets,Singapore. The Fed decision and Brexit vote could be goldboosters in the short term, she added.

The U.S. central bank will start its two-day meeting oninterest rates later in the day.

If the Fed is more dovish than expected, the dollar islikely to move lower and in turn support gold prices, whileuncertainty surrounding Brexit has increased demand for safety,Yang said.

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans were thrown intofurther turmoil on Monday when the speaker of parliament ruledthat she could not put her divorce deal to a new vote unless itwas re-submitted in a fundamentally different form.

Gold is often used as a hedge against political andfinancial uncertainties.

Indicative of investor sentiment toward gold, holdings ofthe SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, rose about 1.1 percent on Monday, itsbiggest one-day percentage gain since Jan. 18. GOL/ETF

In other precious metals, silver XAG= slipped 0.4 percentto $15.38 per ounce, while platinum XPT= jumped 1 percent to$838.62 per ounce.

Swati.Verma@thomsonreuters.com 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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