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RPT-PRECIOUS-Gold up slightly on investment buying; ETF rises
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* Rise in gold trust holdings lends some support
* Bullion may face pressure in Europe, U.S.
* Coming Up: U.S. personal income April; 1230 GMT (Releads to show gold price rise, updates prices to afternoon)
By James Regan
SYDNEY, May 28 (Reuters) - Gold staged a modest comeback on Friday on investment buying after running into competition for capital from rallying equity markets and a stronger U.S. dollar.
Gold also found modest fundamental support from a rise in holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), to a new record, showing global appetite for less risky investments continues on lingering euro zone debt fears and tensions between South and North Korea.
"External factors are still giving gold a lift, but the markets today are more focused on stocks," a dealer in Sydney said.
"We're not seeing real losses, more just sideways trading," the dealer said. "Gold holdings really didn't rise that much compared to earlier in the week."
Spot gold XAU= was quoted at $1,214.15 an ounce at 0650 GMT versus New York's notional close of $1,211.10. Spot has risen about 3 percent this week, hitting $1,218.35 on Thursday, its highest level since May 19.
Benchmark U.S. gold futures for June delivery GCM0 on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $1.80 at $1,213.70 an ounce.
Rollovers out of the June contract into later-dated issues dominated COMEX gold trade. First notice day for June futures is May 28. Anyone still holding June contracts on Friday will risk taking delivery.
Instead, most players were rolling gold futures positions into August contracts, with some moving into December. COMEX August gold GCQ0 stood at $1,216.20 an ounce versus a $1,214.40 close.
Data released by the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust, showed its holdings reached a record 1,267.930 tonnes as of May 27 versus 1,267.626 tonnes a day earlier. That is a fraction of the 30 tonne-plus gain recorded between May 25-26.
Japan's Nikkei rose 1.28 percent .T. and Korean stocks.KS11 gained 0.95 percent after Wall Street firmed on Thursday on news that China still regards Europe as a key investment market for its foreign-exchange reserves.
The statement by China's central bank also had a wider soothing effect on jittery financial markets across Southeast Asia, Australia .AXJO and New Zealand .NZ50.
Stronger stock markets during European and then U.S. time slots later on Friday could steal more thunder from gold, which had closed higher over the last past three consecutive days on stepped up safe-haven investments.
U.S. personal spending data for April USGPC=ECI later on Friday is expected to show a rise of 0.3 percent for April, down only slightly from 0.6 percent rise in March, which may also dent gold's safe-haven appeal.
The euro edged lower on Friday, giving back some of the hefty gains made the previous day, while the dollar index .DXY gained 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies. Precious metals prices Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Turnover Spot Gold 1214.75 3.65 +0.30 10.87 Spot Silver 18.50 0.05 +0.27 9.92 Spot Platinum 1555.00 -6.00 -0.38 6.00 Spot Palladium 463.00 1.00 +0.22 14.18 TOCOM Gold 3565.00 25.00 +0.71 9.39 43108 TOCOM Platinum 4572.00 75.00 +1.67 4.26 17425 TOCOM Silver 55.10 1.50 +2.80 6.58 631 TOCOM Palladium 1363.00 65.00 +5.01 17.00 952 Euro/Dollar 1.2350 Dollar/Yen 91.27 TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except TOCOM silver which is priced in yen per 10 grams. Spot prices in $ per ounce. (Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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