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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies off highs as dollar weighs, N.Korea tensions support

* Palladium off 16-year peak hit in previous session

* Dollar bounces back from 2-1/2-year low

(Recasts, updates prices, adds details) LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday as a stronger dollar pushed the metal off Tuesday's 9-1/2 month high, but the precious metal remained firmly above $1,300 on renewed tensions between Washington and North Korea.

The dollar index rose 0.5 percent versus a currency

basket after stronger than expected private payrolls data, recovering from a 2-1/2 year low hit Tuesday after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan. A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-U.S. investors. But supporting the precious metal, seen as a safe haven asset, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday dismissed any diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, saying in a tweet that "talking is not the answer." "Sentiment in (gold) futures has recently shifted from bearish to bullish and with the break of $1,300 we think this will continue for a while," said Carsten Menke, analyst at Julius Baer. "(But) currency-related headwinds should return to gold this year, plus we don't see strong investment demand. This puts the whole rally above $1,300 on a rather weak footing (longer term)."

Spot gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,308.93 per ounce

at 1410 GMT. On Tuesday, the price jumped to $1,325.94, the highest since Trump was elected U.S. president.

U.S. gold futures slipped 0.4 percent to $1,314.30.

U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood, addressing the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, called on Wednesday for "concerted action" to pressure North Korea into abandoning its banned nuclear and missile programs by fully enforcing economic sanctions. "Do we think that the geopolitical issue will intensify? No, we don't, but we cannot rule it out either," said Dominic Schnider at UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong. "Looking at how things are spiraling, the risk is that these tensions linger on." Elsewhere, holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD, rose 0.25 percent on Tuesday from Monday, data showed.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.4 percent

to $17.42 per ounce, trading below its more than two-month peak of $17.67 touched on Tuesday.

Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $994.20 per ounce. In

the previous session, the metal hit its highest since early March at $1,006.30.

Palladium dipped 0.6 percent to $937.05 per ounce. It

touched its highest in more than 16 years in the previous session at $949.10 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Arpan Varghese; Editing by Mark Heinrich)