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Gold Firms On Trade Jitters, Palladium Pulls Back From High

Spot gold gained 0.2 per cent to $1,478.65 per ounce as of 1043 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent at $1,483.20.

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Gold edged higher on Wednesday amid uncertainty about what comes after phase one of the U.S.-China trade deal, while palladium slipped after a record run to the key $2,000 an ounce level.

Spot gold gained 0.2% to $1,478.65 per ounce as of 1043 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% at $1,483.20.

"This is only phase one (of the trade deal) and there are still open questions as to what will happen next year with IT protection and all the other major issues still to be addressed," said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler.

Gold is on track for its biggest annual gain since 2010, bolstered by interest rates cuts by major central banks and the protracted tariff dispute.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday details of Chinese purchases in the phase one deal would be detailed in writing, but did not say when the written agreement would be released.

"Gold has taken consolidation to the next level over the last few days, with the daily range tightening to less that $10 and showing little sign of life," OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said.

"It's struggling to hold onto any break above $1,480 though, so bulls shouldn't get too excited just yet," he said.

Gold, often used as a safe hedge against political and economic uncertainties, also found some support before a U.S. House of Representatives vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump later in the day.

Further support for bullion came from fresh fears of a no-deal Brexit, analysts said. On Tuesday, Britain set a hard deadline of December 2020 to reach a new trade deal with the European Union, reviving fears of a chaotic exit from the bloc.

In other metals, palladium slipped 0.8% to $1,940.00 per ounce. The autocatalyst metal hit a record high of $1,998.43 in the previous session, driven by a sustained shortfall, worsened by recent mine closures in major producer South Africa.

"The market set their sights on the key target. Once we did that, we definitely did see some profit-taking - that's the reason we saw that price inflection," said ING analyst Warren Patterson.

Silver edged 0.2% higher to $17.03 per ounce, while platinum was up 0.2% at $929.50.


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