* Dollar index hits near 4-week low
* Silver touches 1-month high
(Adds dealer and analyst comments, background, updates prices) Dec 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to their highest level in one month on Thursday in light holiday trade and as the dollar fell to a four-week low.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,289.10 an ounce at
0322 GMT, after earlier reaching its best since Nov. 29 at $1,289.92.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,292.20
an ounce. The yellow metal has risen for a ninth straight day and is on track to register gains of over 1 percent this month and about 12 percent this year. "It's the thin market and the dollar moving down that's pushing up gold," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong. "If the dollar continues to weaken, gold will be looking for $1,300 again." There could be some additional buying heading into resistance at that level, Leung said. The dollar was on the defensive on Thursday, facing headwinds from a dip in U.S. 10-year bond yields, while commodity-linked currencies were bolstered by this week's rally in metal and oil prices. Gold prices have risen from a near five-month low of $1,235.92 touched earlier this month, as the dollar weakened after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept its outlook for three rate rises in 2018 unchanged and as investors remained divided over the impact of U.S. tax reform on economic growth.
"Investors across the United States are sceptical about the future prospects of the economy as tax overhaul is expected to create a further deficit of $6 trillion and tensions have been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs," said Sugandha Sachdeva, vice president of metals, energy and currency research at Religare Securities Ltd. Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty. "Furthermore, dollar index treading water...is keeping prices buoyant. These all have worked in favour of the beaten down asset and the current backdrop has actually turned bullish for the yellow metal," Sachdeva said. A weaker dollar makes greenback-denominated gold cheaper for holders in other currencies.
Among other precious metals, silver was 0.2 percent
higher at $16.71 an ounce, after earlier marking its highest since late November at $16.73.
Palladium was 0.1 percent lower at $1,059.49 an
ounce, having touched its highest since February 2001 at $1,069.50 an ounce in the previous session.
Platinum was up 0.6 percent at $922.60, after
touching the highest since Dec. 5 at $927.20 on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Apeksha Nair and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry and Biju Dwarakanath)