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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as dollar firms; palladium breaches $1,200/oz mark

K. Sathya Narayanan

(Recasts throughout, updates prices, adds quotes)

* Spot gold on track for second consecutive monthly gain

* Palladium hits a record high of $1,202.81/oz

* Platinum poised for fourth weekly decline

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns:

BENGALURU, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Friday as the dollar strengthened ahead of the trade talks between the U.S. and Chinese leaders at the G20 summit, while palladium prices crossed the key $1,200 per ounce mark for the first time.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will be meeting on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina to discuss the ongoing trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Spot gold fell 0.54 percent to $1,216.96 per ounce at 10:16 a.m. EST (1516 GMT). U.S. gold futures slipped 0.55 percent lower to $1,216.60 an ounce.

"The dollar index has moved to its daily high and the U.S. stock market is bouncing back and that is also working against gold," said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.

A big price movement is unlikely in gold for the rest of the session "unless there is some kind of a major announcement from out of Buenos Aires from G20," he added.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, recouped losses, having touched a near one-week low in the previous session, as markets awaited the outcome of the talks.

"The markets now have more clarity into issues such as the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate thinking, the Italian budgetary drama, and the U.S.-China trade war," said Ronan Manly, a precious metals analyst at Singapore-based dealer BullionStar.

"As such, this clarity and visibility could cap any further gains for gold in the short term. So, a major move above the current range is not likely."

Gold prices have been trading between $1,210.65 and $1,230.07 over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, palladium eased 0.18 percent to $1,178.90 per ounce, having soared to a record high earlier in the session, and moving above the key $1,200 an ounce level for the first time ever, putting it just about $15 shy of parity with gold.

"There is lot of tightness of palladium physical metal supply that's translating into a fundamental support in strong palladium price," said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of Heraeus Metal Management in New York.

"The investors and speculators are driving the prices higher. Until the fundamental story changes, we are going to see very strong palladium prices."

Spot silver fell 1.92 percent to $14.03 per ounce.

Platinum dipped 2.15 percent, to $799.45 per ounce, on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline. The metal is set to fall more than 4 percent in November, after gaining in the previous two months.

(Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan, Swati Verma and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by)