* Palladium retreats from record peak, set for 6th weekly gain
* Platinum on track to snap three consecutive weekly gain
* Investors now await Fed, BOJ policy meetings (Adds technicals, updates prices)
By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
Sept 13 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged lower on Friday as improved risk appetite amid signs of a thaw in the long-drawn U.S.-China trade tiff drew investors away from the safe-haven metal, while palladium retreated slightly from a record peak hit in the previous session.
Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,496.76 per ounce by 0521 GMT, declining about 0.7% so far this week in what could be its third straight weekly drop.
U.S. gold futures dipped 0.2% to $1,504.30 per ounce.
“The heated-up environment between the U.S. and China has cooled off and so have (gold) prices,” said Sugandha Sachdeva, vice-president, metals, energy and currency research, Religare Broking Ltd.
The two sides have been making conciliatory gestures ahead of scheduled trade talks next month, lowering the temperature between them and cheering investors.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he preferred a comprehensive trade deal with China but did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact, even as he said an “easy” agreement would not be possible.
Asian equities rose as hints of progress in trade talks between the world’s two top economies and aggressive stimulus from the European Central Bank helped buoy risk sentiment.
The European Central Bank’s chief, Mario Draghi, pledged indefinite stimulus on Thursday to revive an ailing euro-zone economy.
The bigger-than-expected stimulus will increase pressure on the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan to ease policy next week to support a world economy increasingly characterised by low growth and protectionist threats to free trade.
“Next major wave of move in gold prices will be governed by the outcome of upcoming Fed meet… That said, prices are likely to gyrate between $1,480-$1,550 per ounce in the immediate short term,” Sachdeva said.
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said spot gold is biased to break a support at $1,480 per ounce and fall to the next support at $1,453.
Meanwhile, palladium fell 0.6% to $1,608.01 per ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $1,621.55 on Thursday as possible labour issues in South African mines stoked supply concerns.
The auto catalyst metal was on track for a sixth straight weekly gain, its longest winning streak since 2016.
Among other precious metals, silver shed 0.3% to $18.03 per ounce, while platinum dropped 0.3% to $947.97. Platinum has declined about 0.6% in the week after three consecutive weekly gain. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)