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PRECIOUS-Gold steady as stocks bounce on China stimulus bets

* China Q4 GDP up 6.8 pct, slowest growth since 2009

* Firmer dollar caps gold price

* Coming up: German ZEW economic sentiment at 1000 GMT (Adds MKS comment, updates prices)

MANILA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Tuesday as equities rebounded after China’s weakest economic growth in years fanned stimulus hopes, spurring investors towards risky assets.

Chinese stocks surged, helping Asian equities shake off early losses to trade modestly higher. Data showed the world’s No. 2 economy grew 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the slowest since 2009, and analysts say this year’s performance hinges on Beijing’s support.

For all of 2015, China’s growth came in at 6.9 percent, the weakest in 25 years.

The numbers matched economists’ estimates in a Reuters poll, underlining the challenges Beijing faces in stabilising activity while reforming its economy.

“We’ve got a short-term easing of concerns around the market which puts pressure on gold and of course we’ve got a longer term trend of a stronger U.S. dollar,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

The dollar was trading higher versus a basket of currencies .

Spot gold was little changed at $1,089.96 an ounce by 0710 GMT, after a lethargic session on Monday with U.S. markets shut for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Gold touched a session high of $1,090.40 soon after China’s GDP data was out, benefitting from the risk-off environment, MKS Group dealer Alex Thorndike said.

“The move was brief however with fast money types hitting bids above $1,090 and quickly pushing the market back to $1,088-$1,090 where we consolidated into the afternoon,” Thorndike added.

Bullion scaled a two-month high of $1,112 on Jan. 8 amid concerns over the fate of the global economy, particularly China.

U.S. gold for February delivery was flat at $1,089.90 an ounce.

Weak physical demand from top gold consumers China and India has limited gold’s upside potential, analysts say, with Chinese consumer spending dented by its slowing economy.

“It seems unlikely that any particular group would put a floor under the gold price at this stage,” said McCarthy at CMC Markets.

Spot platinum climbed 1 percent to $826.85 an ounce after hitting a session low of $814.50 an ounce. That was just off Monday’s trough of $812.95, its lowest since December 2008, amid global growth concerns.

Palladium rose 0.8 percent to $494.97 an ounce and silver gained 0.4 percent to $13.98. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)

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