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PRECIOUS-Gold eyes Trump, heads for fourth week of gains

* Safe-haven buying pushes up gold
    * Fed Chair comments on rate hike seen less hawkish
    * Spot gold likely to test resistance at $1,219/oz
-technicals

 (Updates prices, adds comment)
    By Arpan Varghese
    Jan 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Friday and
were on track for their fourth weekly gain in a row, buoyed by a
weaker dollar ahead of the inauguration of U.S. President-elect
Donald Trump later in the day.
    Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,206.26 per ounce
by 0550 GMT, while U.S. gold futures climbed 0.4 percent
to $1,206.60 per ounce. 
    "There is a bit of safe-haven buying ahead of Trump's
inauguration," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong
Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
    Trump's protectionist statements, with mixed promises of tax
cuts and infrastructure spending, have increased demand for gold
as a safe-haven.
    "The incoming U.S. administration is still a relatively
unknown factor, certainly in comparison to other incoming
administrations in recent decades," HSBC analyst James Steel
said in a note.
    The metal has risen more than 7 percent since dropping to
its lowest in more than 10-1/2 months in December.
    Spot gold may approach resistance at $1,219 per ounce again
as it failed to break support at $1,196, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao. 
    Better-than-expected jobs and housing data reinforced the
view that the U.S. economy is sufficiently robust to warrant
rate rises, turning back recent falls for the dollar and pushing
10-year bond yields to their highest since Jan. 3. 
MKTS/GLOB]
    A strong dollar makes gold more expensive for holders
of other currencies. 
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, fell 0.2 percent to 100.970.
 
    However, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen took a less
hawkish stance on Thursday, suggesting the U.S. central bank
raise interest rates, albeit slowly, so as to not risk harm to
the recovery the Fed has sought to nurture. 
    "The Fed is definitely going to raise rates this year, but
we are not sure whether it will happen in the first half of the
year. And, we have several events like the U.S. debt ceiling and
Brexit around the same time," Leung said.
     Gold is highly-sensitive to rising rates, which lift the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion,
while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.  
    In other precious metals, silver eased by
0.18-percent at $16.98 an ounce.
    Platinum prices were firm at $958 an ounce. The metal
hit a low of $943.75 in the previous session, its worst since
Jan. 5.
    Palladium also remained steady at $753 an ounce.
    

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali
Paul and Joseph Radford)
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