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|20 July, 2018

PRECIOUS-Gold prices slip for 6th session as dollar trades near 1-yr high

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,218.72 an ounce

Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

BENGALURU  - Gold prices eased for a sixth straight session on Friday, hovering near a one-year low hit in the previous session, as the dollar traded close to a one-year high.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,218.72 an ounce at 0352 GMT. In the previous session, it fell to its weakest since early July last year at $1,211.08 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.5 percent at $1,218.30 an ounce.

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"It seems gold cannot really get anything going on the upside," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

"So nothing changed despite the flurry caused by the president's remarks and so gold continues to labour under a stronger dollar, higher rates slated for the balance of this year and next and general fund disenchantment with the long side."

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, stood at 95.127. It dropped from a one-year high on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concern about the currency's strength and the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases.

Trump on Thursday criticized Fed's policy even though most economists believe the highest inflation in seven years and lowest unemployment in 40 years justify recent interest rate rises and a strong U.S. dollar.

This comes after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in a two-day congressional testimony said the U.S. was on course for years more of steady growth and reaffirmed expectations for more interest rate rises.

Rising U.S. interest rates tend to boost the dollar and make gold more expensive for other holders.

Elsewhere, the European Union's trade commissioner on Thursday said she hopes an EU mission to Washington will ease a transatlantic trade dispute but the bloc is preparing a list of U.S. imports to hit if the United States imposes tariffs on EU cars.

The United States imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminium on June 1, and Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts.

Financial leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies meet in Buenos Aires this weekend for the first time since China and the United States put tariffs on $34 billion of each other's goods.

Spot gold may test a support at $1,204.45 per ounce, a break below which could cause a loss to the next support at $1,194, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Meanwhile, Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.52 percent to 798.13 tonnes on Thursday.

In other precious metals, silver fell 0.2 percent to $15.23 an ounce.

Platinum was 0.6 percent lower at $799.45 per ounce, while palladium  was up 0.7 percent at $875.50 an ounce.

(Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((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))