PRECIOUS-Gold steadies on doubts over progress in U.S.-China trade talks

Sumita Layek

(Updates prices)

* Fed officials' outlook for U.S. economy favorable- Powell

* U.S. consumer confidence data due at 1500 GMT

* Palladium touches highest level in three weeks

Nov 26 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Tuesday, having recovered from two-week lows as doubts resurfaced about the progress of trade talks between China and the United States.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,455.60 per ounce by 0813

GMT, close to its lowest since Nov. 12 hit earlier in the

session. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,455.40.

Talks between the two countries have failed to materialize previously, "so unless and until a deal is signed and sealed, we will see gold consolidate only in a smaller range," said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Advisory in Mumbai. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a phone call on issues related to a "phase one" agreement, but a lack of clarity hit investors' confidence.

Also, recent bills passed by the United States supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong remain a point of contention between Washington and Beijing. "There hasn't been much substantial detail other than they (the United States and China) are working very closely, and besides the U.S., other parts of the world are still showing slow economic growth, so gold will still be supported," Phillip Futures analyst Benjamin Lu said. Gold, considered a safe asset in times of political and economic uncertainty, has gained more than 13% this year, mainly due to the tariff dispute and its impact on global economic growth. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday officials had a favorable outlook for the U.S. economy.

However, weak global growth and trade uncertainty are holding back growth and they will "respond accordingly" if economic data leads to a "material reassessment" of their outlook, Powell said. The central bank cut interest rates three times this year before pausing. Lower rates reduce the opportunity cost for holders of bullion, an asset that yields no interest.

Under investors' radar now is U.S. consumer confidence data due at 1500 GMT.

Elsewhere, silver was unchanged at $16.90 per ounce,

after touching a one-week low.

Palladium rose 1% to $1,814.23 per ounce, having hitits highest since Nov. 4, and platinum gained 0.2% to


(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Subhranshu Sahu and Dale Hudson)