* Gold up 1.6% so far this week
* Speculation grows of aggressive central bank easing
* Silver set for second week of gains
* Gold may fall into $1,483-$1,503/oz range -techs (Adds comments, details, updates prices)
By Harshith Aranya
Aug 16 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged lower on Friday but were headed for a third consecutive weekly gain, as fears over a global economic slowdown and a lack of clarity on the U.S.-China trade war boosted the metal’s safe-haven appeal.
Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,521 per ounce as of 0400 GMT, but is up nearly 1.6% so far this week after rising in the previous two weeks.
U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,5231 an ounce.
“Gold is consolidating here. The important consideration is that none of the headwinds have gone away; the tariffs got delayed a bit, but the underlying trade war remains and lower yields are supportive for gold,” said Ilya Spivak, senior currency strategist with DailyFx.
“Markets are looking ahead for the Jackson Hole symposium. In context of recent gains that might give us some corrective pullbacks, as people reduce exposure before event risk.”
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he believed China wanted to make a trade deal and that the dispute would be fairly short.
This comes after Beijing vowed to counter the latest tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods but called on the United States to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal.
With the trade saga going nowhere, investors have hedged against a global slowdown by buying safe-haven assets like gold, Japanese yen and U.S. Treasuries.
Earlier this week, 10-year Treasury yields dropped below the 2-year yield for the first time in 12 years. Curve inversion is widely considered a warning that the economy is headed for recession.
Bullion has risen nearly 8%, or more than $100, since the beginning of the month amid the heightened trade tensions and a slew of disappointing economic data globally.
“The yellow metal continues to benefit from safe-haven inflows, which should ensure that any pullbacks are limited ahead of the weekend,” OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley, said in a note.
Investors will shift their focus to the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium next week. Traders see about a one-in-three chance of a 50 basis-point rate cut by the Fed this September.
Meanwhile, the dollar index edged higher on Friday and was on course for a weekly gain.
On the technical side, spot gold may fall into a range of $1,483-$1,503 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a retracement analysis, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Elsewhere, silver was down 0.2% at $17.22 per ounce but was on track for a second consecutive weekly gain.
Platinum fell 0.3% to $836.10 an ounce, while palladium rose 0.3% to $1,448.57 an ounce. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)