Wires

PRECIOUS-Gold set for best week in five and palladium sets record high

Eileen Soreng

* Palladium hits record high of $1,785.50 an ounce

* Dismal U.S. data boosts hopes for rate cut next week

* GRAPHIC-Platinum/palladium ratio: http://tmsnrt.rs/1QjSZAC (Adds comments, updates prices)

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Gold steadied above $1,500 an ounce on Friday, on course for its best week in five amid continued uncertainty around Brexit and the health of the global economy while a sustained supply crunch propelled palladium to a record high.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,504.00 per ounce at 0953 GMT, having earlier hit its highest since Oct. 10 at $1,506.76. The precious metal has gained about 1% this week.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,507.00.

"Brexit has gone into another limbo and there is still some uncertainty over the progress of (U.S.-China) trade talks. These are increasing risk aversion and pushing gold higher," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

A week before Britain was due to exit the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted he would not meet his deadline to leave on Oct. 31 and demanded a Dec. 12 election.

EU governments are unlikely to decide on Friday whether to grant Britain's request for an extension of the Brexit deadline, senior EU diplomats said.

On the trade front, top U.S. and Chinese trade officials will discuss plans on Friday for China to buy more U.S. farm products. In return, Beijing will request the cancellation of some planned and existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, people briefed on the talks told Reuters.

Gold has gained about 17% this year mainly due to the U.S.-China trade spat and the resulting impact on the global economy.

"Overall, the sluggish global growth, and with that the expectation of rate cuts, continue to provide underlying support (for gold)," said Saxo Bank commodity strategist Ole Hansen.

Data on Thursday showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods and shipments declined in September, a sign that business investment remains soft amid the trade war and building the case for another U.S. rate cut next week.

Elsewhere, palladium was down 0.3% at $1,772.00 an ounce having earlier hit an all-time high of $1,785.50.

Concerns about a supply crunch for the metal used in autocatalysts have helped lift palladium prices by about 40% this year, despite a weakening auto sector.

Palladium is in a strong uptrend supported by the fundamental story, Saxo Bank's Hansen said. "If we do break $1,785, we could see some additional buyers into that break, taking palladium to the 1,800 level."

Silver climbed 1.5% to $18.03 per ounce after hitting a high since Sept. 25 at $18.09 and was up about 3% for the week.

Platinum was steady at $923.50, on course for its best week in eight. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by David Clarke)