* U.S. Fed hints at slower interest rate rises
* Trump disbands advisory councils, knocking confidence
* U.S. dollar, bond yields weaker
* Technical resistance at 1,296.30
* Palladium gains on industrial metals rally
(Updates throughout, moves dateline from Bengaluru) LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Gold rose for a second consecutive day on Thursday after Federal Reserve officials hinted that U.S. interest rates could rise more slowly than expected, while palladium hit a new 16-year high, supported by strong industrial metals markets. The minutes of the Fed's July 25-26 policy meeting showed some policymakers wished to halt further rate increases until it is clear the trend of soft inflation is transitory. Gold is sensitive to rising interest rates because they push up bond yields, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, and tend to strengthen the dollar, in which gold is priced. The dollar and bond yields fell after the minutes were released but have recouped some losses.
Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,286.99 an ounce at
0910 GMT after rising 0.9 percent the previous day.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery were 0.8
percent higher at $1,292.70 an ounce. Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to disband two high-profile business advisory councils also helped gold because it shook confidence in Trump's ability to enact economic stimulus. Demand for gold as a safe haven also resurfaced after South Korea warned North Korea against "crossing a red line" and the United States said it would go ahead with joint military drills despite pressure from China, Fritsch said. "Gold is likely to breach USD 1,300/oz as the market prices in a less hawkish Fed, particularly in a risk-off environment," analysts at Standard Chartered said in a note. But Fritsch said gold would struggle to rise above $1,295 after failing three times this year. "Speculative long positions are at quite high levels," he said. "If we fail again here this could provoke a correction." Technical resistance was at the June high of $1,296.30 with Fibonacci support at $1,261.30, said analysts at ScotiaMocatta.
Palladium was up 0.7 percent at $920 after earlier
touching 927.80, the highest since February 2001. The metal, used in the auto industry for emissions-controlling catalytic converters, was being carried higher by a strong rally in industrial metals such as copper and aluminum this week, said Dominic Schnider at UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.
Silver was flat at $17.08 an ounce and platinum
down 0.1 percent at $975.40 an ounce.
(Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru, editing by David Evans)