* Spot gold may break resistance at $1,305/oz - technicals
* Silver hits 4-week high
* Specs cut net longs for 4th straight week
* Palladium marks highest since February 2001
(Adds comments, updates prices, adds LONDON dateline) LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - A slightly firmer dollar weighed on gold on Monday, while ongoing tensions over Iran and North Korea and recent weak U.S. economic data lifted bullion above the psychological $1,300 level.
Spot gold was unchanged at $1,304.50 an ounce at 1000 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were
up 0.2 percent at $1,306.90 per ounce.
While the dollar index edged up on Monday as the euro
dipped, recent weak U.S. economic data and tame inflation point to a more favourable environment for gold. "Last Friday we had rather disappointing CPI number, which further enforced the view that there's no need for the Fed to be very aggressive in terms of rate hikes," said analyst Carsten Menke at Julius Baer in Zurich. Rising interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on the greenback-denominated, non-yielding gold. "Now it seems that gold has some legs above $1,300 level, which attracts some technical buying. The bulls have the upper hand, at least for the moment. I wouldn't expect a sharp down move over the next couple of weeks." Geopolitical risks, including over Iran and North Korea, are likely to persist this week, Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA, said in a note. "This should all combine to ensure that gold maintains a safe-haven tone this week," Halley said. The euro extended losses after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed to give a clear answer to whether or not he declared independence from Spain. Spot gold may break a resistance at $1,305 per ounce and rise to the next resistance at $1,318, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said. "Prices have established themselves above $1,300, although the upside may be a little bit limited, we would expect to see them remain at $1,300-1,310 mark over the course of the week," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes. Speculators cut their net long position in COMEX gold contracts for a fourth straight week in the week to Oct. 10, data showed on Friday.
Silver rose 0.1 percent to $17.37 an ounce after
hitting $17.44, its highest since mid-September.
Platinum eased 0.1 percent to $943.25 an ounce. Palladium climbed 1.5 percent to $1,002.70 an ounce
after earlier hitting its highest since February 2001 at $1,008.
(Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)