March 28, 2019 / 6:01 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Palladium extends losses, hits 5-wk low as investors book profit

* Spot gold hits 1-week low

* Palladium hits session low of $1,430.69/oz, lowest since Feb. 18

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: (Updates prices, adds comments)

By Swati Verma

March 28 (Reuters) - Palladium fell to a more than five-week low on Thursday, a day after posting its steepest decline in over two years, as concerns about the global economy and a buoyant dollar prompted investors to take profit after a recent record run.

Spot palladium fell 0.4 percent to $1,438.08 per ounce by 0756 GMT. Prices tumbled 6.3 percent on Wednesday, marking the biggest one-day percentage fall since January 2017.

The metal, used extensively in the making of catalytic converters in vehicles, has already shed about $190 from a record peak of $1,620.52 an ounce hit last week.

"With the concerns around economic growth and a stronger dollar, investors took profits after the strong rally we've had in the past few weeks," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said, adding while worries about demand had emerged, supply constraints remained greater.

"The tightness in the market and concerns about supply side issues will keep prices elevated. But if we do see continued strength in U.S. dollar, this sell-off might extend a little bit longer."

The dollar index was trading near a two-week peak and extended gains for a third straight session against its peers, making dollar-denominated metals more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Some analysts also attributed Wednesday's sharp sell-off to comments by Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani, who said palladium was a "bubble".

The auto-catalyst metal was trading below the 55-day moving average of around $1,453 an ounce, which it breached for the first time since August in the previous session.

"Given the extent of the technical damage, we suspect that palladium prices will likely push somewhat lower over the days ahead as a consolidation range starts to get carved out," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir wrote in a note.

Spot gold prices on the other hand were steady at $1,309.88 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,308.70 an ounce.

Bullion touched a one-week low earlier in the session, mainly pressured by a strong dollar.

"The gold market is closely following data and how that affects the U.S. Federal Reserve," ANZ's Hynes said. "For the moment, investors are taking a wait-and-see approach."

The Fed's dovish stance and worries about an economic slowdown have kept gold prices supported above the key $1,300 an ounce level, analysts said.

"We remain cautiously optimistic on gold going forward... However, if $1,300 breaks (below) once again, stale longs might decide to throw in the towel on yet another ill-fated rally attempt," INTL FCStone's Meir said.

Silver edged 0.1 percent lower to $15.26 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.4 percent to $860.06.

Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu

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