October 29, 2019 / 5:45 AM / 20 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold subdued as equities jump on trade hopes; focus on Fed

* U.S. Fed meeting scheduled for Oct 29-30

* Palladium hovers near record high of $1,808.81/oz (Updates prices)

By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Tuesday, hovering around $1,490 an ounce as progress in China-U.S. trade talks sent equities soaring, while anticipation ahead of major central bank meetings in the week provided some support.

Spot gold was trading at $1,493.11 per ounce at 0938 GMT, after shedding nearly 1% in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,495.70 an ounce.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule. The possibility of an extension on tariff suspensions on $34 billion of Chinese goods also fuelled optimism.

Wall Street jumped to an all-time peak after the statements on Monday, while Asian shares scaled a three-month high in early trade on Tuesday.

"There is a broad risk-on sentiment, with U.S. equities hitting a fresh record high. The trade talks are highly unpredictable ... It has disappointed investors many times in the past and may repeat again," said Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets.

"The market is very positive about it right now, but that also means it is very vulnerable."

Gold was far from losing its sheen, analysts said, as a dearth of clarity on trade talks and Britain's negotiations on leaving the European Union still loomed large.

The EU agreed to a Brexit delay of up to three months, but Brexit hangs in the balance, with British politicians still arguing over how, when or even whether it should take place at all.

Investors also braced for another dose of policy stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve this week. It is expected to cut rates for a third time in a row when it concludes its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

"The market has already discounted a 25 basis point cut, but further guidance is very important on whether they will cut in the December meeting," said Sandeep Joon, senior research analyst at SMC India, adding further losses in gold prices were possible.

Central banks in Japan and Canada are also scheduled for policy meetings this week.

Lower interest rates make gold attractive as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding metal.

Among other precious metals, palladium dipped 0.2% to $1,796 an ounce, but remained close to a record high of $1,808.81 hit in the previous session, as supply concerns continue boosting the autocatalyst metal's appeal.

Silver fell 0.5% to $17.77 per ounce and platinum shed 0.4% to $915.35. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

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