Wires

PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady in holiday-thinned trading

Dec 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Monday in thin trading, as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays while waiting for fresh developments on the Sino-U.S. trade front.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,479.05 per ounce by

ounce.

* U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said the United States and China would "very shortly" sign their so-called Phase One trade pact, but the markets still craved for further details of the agreement.

* China's top lawmaking body on Saturday criticized the defense bill that Washington passed on Dec. 9 as "interference," state news agency Xinhua reported.

* U.S. economic growth nudged up in the third quarter, while consumer spending increased solidly in November, pointing to moderate economic growth that could support the Federal Reserve's desire to keep interest rates unchanged indefinitely, data on Friday showed.

* China, the world's top bullion producer and consumer, launched its first gold options contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange on Friday.

* Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions on them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday.

* Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed

tonnes on Friday.

* Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Dec. 17.

* Gold demand was subdued in major Asian hubs last week, with India in the midst of protests against a new citizenship law that disrupted some retail buying and traders elsewhere banking on the Chinese New Year for an uptick in sales.

* AngloGold Ashanti said it expected its Obuasi gold mine in Ghana to produce about 350,000 ounces to 400,000 ounces per year for the first 10 years.

* Elsewhere, palladium fell 0.5% to $1,846.83 per ounce, after declining as much as 5% in the previous session.

* Silver was flat at $17.19 per ounce, while platinum gained 0.9% to $916.70.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

2350 Japan Bank of Japan releases minutes of monetary policy meeting held on Oct. 30 and 31.

*no precise release time

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)