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PRECIOUS-Gold retreats from 2-month high as US dollar weighs down

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* Spot gold may test resistance at $ 1802 / oz – technical details

* Palladium hovers around $ 3000 / oz (redesign, add comments, update prices)

May 4 (Reuters) – Gold prices retreated Tuesday from previous sessions of more than two months on a stronger dollar ahead of a series of US economic data, while palladium held near record highs reached last week due to supply issues.

Spot gold was down 0.4% to $ 1,785.26 an ounce at 9:25 a.m. GMT, after hitting its highest level since February 25 at $ 1,797.75 on Monday.

Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, said technical factors were restraining gold’s strength, while the rally in the US dollar made it more difficult.

We have two important support levels at $ 1,765 and $ 1,750, while a clear break of $ 1,800 would open some room for bullion.

The dollar index rose 0.5% as investors weighed the odds that U.S. interest rates would be forced up by a strong economic recovery in the United States. An expensive dollar makes gold less attractive to other currency holders.

The US central bank wants to keep monetary policy loose for the foreseeable future, but the accelerating economic recovery has fueled speculation that support will decline sooner than expected.

Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding unproductive bullion.

Investors are now awaiting US services data due Friday and April payroll data Friday for further clues to the health of the US economy.

Spot gold could test resistance at $ 1,802 an ounce, a breakout of which could lead to a gain of $ 1,816, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, the metallic palladium autocatalyst rose 0.7% to $ 2,991 an ounce after hitting an all-time high of $ 3,007.73 on Friday.

Silver fell 0.2% to $ 26.89, after hitting its highest level since March 1 on Monday, while platinum rose 0.4% to $ 1,235.50.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Edited by Jan Harvey

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