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PRECIOUS-Gold sticks near 3-month high as risk aversion in play

* Chinese buying gold ahead of Lunar New Year

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings at highest since November

* Coming up: U.S. ADP national employment at 1315 GMT (Adds ETF holdings, updates prices)

MANILA, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Gold stabilised near a three-month top early on Wednesday, its safe-haven appeal kept intact by concerns over a wobbly global economy that has put share markets under pressure.

Holdings at the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF) climbed to its highest since November, underlining growing interest in the metal.

Buying from China, the world’s top gold consumer, ahead of next week’s Lunar New Year holiday, also supported bullion, said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore-based gold dealer GoldSilver Central.

“There’s not a lot of alternatives for China at the moment and funds are now moving to invest in gold,” said Lan who sees gold sustaining its strength through the first quarter.

Spot gold was flat at $1,127.65 an ounce by 0650 GMT, not far below Tuesday’s peak of $1,130.30, its strongest since Nov. 3.

Among the best performing assets so far this year, gold has gained more than 6 percent after losing 10.4 percent in 2015.

U.S. gold for April delivery was up 0.2 percent at $1,128.90 an ounce.

There may be enough momentum for bullion to rise above $1,160 and test the $1,200 mark, said Lan. Gold last reached $1,200 in June last year.

“A weaker U.S. dollar, lower oil and fragile equity markets are in combination good for gold. We remain bullish as the economic trends do not argue for lower bullion in our view,” HSBC analyst James Steel wrote to clients.

Oil stayed near multi-year lows on Wednesday and Asian stocks dropped again as worries over a slowing global economy kept investors away from risk assets.

Global interest rates are likely to go even lower before they rise as financial market volatility and the spectre of deflation raise fresh doubts about central banks’ ability to fulfil their mandates, policymakers and economists said.

That should be supportive for gold, an asset that thrives on uncertainty.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve may also go easy on raising interest rates amid the global economic headwinds had helped gold rise the most in a year in January.

Top gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings increased to 22.04 million ounces on Tuesday from 21.9 million ounces on Monday.

Spot silver was flat at $14.29 an ounce and palladium rose 0.5 percent to $491.38. Platinum gained 0.4 percent to $853.25 per ounce. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin and Gopakumar Warrier)

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