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|25 May, 2018

PRECIOUS-Gold slips, but safe-haven demand keeps prices above $1,300

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,302.18 per ounce

Image used for illustrative purpose. A employee works on 1 kg. gold bars in Ahlatci Metal Refinery in the central Anatolian city of Corum, Turkey, May 11, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A employee works on 1 kg. gold bars in Ahlatci Metal Refinery in the central Anatolian city of Corum, Turkey, May 11, 2017.

REUTERS/Umit Bektas
* Spot gold up 0.8 percent for the week

* Silver, platinum, palladium head for weekly gains

(Updates prices)

By Apeksha Nair

BENGALURU, May 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday on profit-taking, after breaking above $1,300 in the previous session when U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to call off a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un triggered safe-haven buying.

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Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,301.65 per ounce at 0604 GMT, after climbing nearly 1 percent in the previous session in its biggest one-day percentage rise since April 11. It remains on track for a weekly gain.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,301.40 per ounce.

"It is normal for some profit-taking to ensue after a surge (in prices). Still, gold appears to be anchored in the $1,300-range, especially with the recent uptick in geopolitical tensions," said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.

"The sustained uncertainty over (U.S.-North Korea) negotiations will likely add further upside to gold prices given safe-haven demand," Gan said.

Gold is often seen as a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty, alongside the Japanese yen.

The dollar regained its footing on Friday after dropping to a 2-week low versus the yen in the previous session, as North Korea said it was open to resolving issues with the United States after Trump on Thursday called off a summit with the North, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility".

A stronger dollar makers dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The North's conciliatory remarks and commitment to U.S.-North Korea talks had eased some concern about the crisis and pressured gold, said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities.

Meanwhile, Trump's threat to impose tariffs on auto imports drew strong criticism abroad and at home where U.S. business groups and members of his own Republican Party warned of damage to the industry and raised the prospect of a global trade war that would harm American interests.

Elsewhere, euro zone growth could slow further and uncertainty is on the rise but the bloc's expansion remains solid and broad-based, European Central Bank policymakers concluded in April, the minutes of the meeting showed on Thursday.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.4 percent to $16.56 an ounce, while platinum edged down 0.3 percent to $906 an ounce after touching its highest since May 14 at $914.30 in the previous session.

Palladium was 0.1 percent higher at $975 an ounce.

All three of those metals were on course for weekly gains.

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair and Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford and Amrutha Gayathri) ((K.Rodrigues@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 9229; Reuters Messaging: K.Rodrigues.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))