PRECIOUS-Gold eases from 3-wk top as dollar holds steady

* Silver hits highest level in nearly four weeks

* Palladium highest since Feb, 2001

(Adds trader's comment, updates prices) Dec 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down on Wednesday, hovering just below a three-week high hit in the previous session, as the dollar held steady and equities firmed.

Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,281.71 an ounce as

of 0337 GMT, after hitting its highest since Dec. 1 at $1,283.72 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,286.70

an ounce. "Technically, the 38.2 percent of the move down from the 2017 high of $1,357 comes in at $1,282. The 100-day moving average is at $1,286. So, these levels will be watched for further moves," said Amit Kumar Gupta, portfolio management services head at Adroit Financial Services. "We will have to see how gold behaves at these levels in holiday mood amid low liquidity." The dollar held steady versus a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, drawing support after oil prices climbed to 2-1/2 year highs. "More people are looking at gold as a portfolio rotation ... Both gold and silver are seeing some bids despite a firm currency," a Singapore-based trader said. Equities firmed on Wednesday, boosted by commodity- and energy-linked shares around Asia. Commodities gained broadly on Tuesday as a stocks rally paused on thin-volume trade and as many markets were shut after Christmas Day holiday. Meanwhile, the United States announced sanctions on two North Korean officials behind their country's ballistic missile program on Tuesday, while Russia reiterated an offer to mediate to ease tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen.

In other precious metals, silver fell 0.2 percent to

$16.50 per ounce after earlier touching its best since late November at $16.56.

Platinum edged up 0.2 percent to $920.10, while palladium rose 0.4 percent to its highest since February,

2001 at $1,055.50 per ounce.

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair, additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Biju Dwarakanath)