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PRECIOUS-Gold firms after losses, uptick in risk appetite caps gains

* Gold ticks up after dropping 1.4 pct on Thursday

* Market down 2.3 pct this week, most since early Nov.

* Expectations of higher U.S. interest rates cap gains (Adds details, quotes)

SINGAPORE, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on Friday after dropping for the past four out five sessions and the market was on track for its biggest weekly decline since early November on pressure from a rebound in equities.

Asian stocks won a temporary reprieve after oil prices snapped an eight-day rout, helping to lift battered energy shares even as investors remained on edge as they looked for signs of stability in China’s economy and its volatile markets.

Spot gold added 0.2 percent to $1,079.81 an ounce by 0233 GMT, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.6 percent to $1,079.9. Spot gold is down 2.2 percent this week, most since the week ending November 6.

A bounce in global stock markets and oil prices is providing headwinds to the precious metal.

“The positive move in global equity markets is bearish for gold,” said Shandong Gold Group chief analyst Shu Jiang.

“Many people do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates further in January but there is talk rates going higher in the future which will keep gold prices capped.”

The metal hit a two-month high at $1,112 last week as volatility in Chinese stocks hit appetite for risk, but trading has since fallen as expectations of further U.S. interest rate increases lowers demand for the non-interest-paying asset.

The Fed raised rates in December and attention has shifted to how many hikes will follow in 2016.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said a continued decline in inflation expectations may change his outlook for further Fed rate hikes, though so far he feels the United States continues on a healthy track.

Bullard’s comments followed those by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on Wednesday, when he said he was nervous about the potential effects of China’s slowdown on the U.S. economy and about the possibility that inflation expectations may be slipping.

The world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Shares, reported a 2.4 tonne rise in its holdings on Wednesday, bringing its total inflow for the year to 11.7 tonnes.

Silver is down about half a percent this week after gaining 1 percent last week, palladium is largely unchanged for the week after sliding 12 percent last week and platinum is down almost 5 percent in its second week of decline. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin and Ed Davies)

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