* UBS sees gold price at $1,600/oz by mid-2022
* Platinum heads for biggest weekly gain in six
Sept 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices bounced off 1-1/2-month lows
on Friday, buoyed by safe-haven demand as investors grew wary
over cash-strapped China Evergrande's fate while a softer dollar
also lifted the metal's allure for holders of other currencies.
Spot gold was up 0.6% to $1,753.50 per ounce by 659
GMT. Prices hit their lowest level since Aug. 11 at $1,737.46 on
Thursday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,754.40.
The dollar index lingered near a one-week low touched
"Asian investors could be building gold to protect against
undesirable developments in the Evergrande saga over the
weekend," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia
Pacific at OANDA, adding the metal was likely to trade in a
$1,740-$1,780 range in the near term.
Asian stock markets were on edge, hurt by persistent
uncertainty around the fate of debt-ridden China Evergrande
Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals,
said uncertainty around Evergrande's debt also spurred demand
for physical gold in top consumer China, near the $1,750 level.
However, bullion prices were expected to come under pressure
in the medium term with major central banks signalling tapering
of pandemic-era stimulus, analysts said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve signalled an earlier-than-expected
rate hike this week.
"We anticipate greater outflows from ETFs and non-commercial
gold futures," UBS wrote in a note, adding it expected gold
prices at $1,600 by mid-2022.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to the lowest level since
April 2020 on Thursday.
Silver climbed 0.9% to $22.68 per ounce and was up
1.2% for the week so far.
Palladium rose 1.1% to $2,005.68 but was on track for
a third straight weekly decline.
Platinum slipped 0.7% to $982.50. The metal, however,
was headed for a weekly gain of about 4%, its biggest in six
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)