SINGAPORE, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Gold nursed steep losses on Tuesday, trading well below a one-year high reached last week, as a rebound in global equities and the return of risk appetite dulled demand for the safe-haven asset. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold held steady at $1,208.56 an ounce by 0042 GMT. The metal fell to a session low of $1,201.65 on Monday, before closing the day down 2.3 percent. * On Thursday, gold hit a year-high of $1,260.60 as concerns over the health of the banking sector and fears of a global slowdown prompted investors to stay clear of equities and buy safe-haven gold. * But world stocks rose sharply on Monday as China's central bank fixed the yuan at a much stronger rate and oil cemented recent gains, easing fears of global deflation. * The dollar pulled away from multi-month lows against the yen and the euro. * Top consumer China's return from a week-long holiday did not help either. Chinese investors sold into gold's rally, a sign they do not expect prices to go much higher and cannot be counted on to support the market, with post-Lunar New Year demand set to falter. * A correction in gold prices had been expected as the metal had risen quickly over a short period of time. It gained $200 from its January lows to its year-high last week, when it also posted its best week since 2011. * Further consolidation in the stock markets could see gold retrace more. * Goldman Sachs said it expects lower gold prices, with a three-month target of $1,100 per ounce and 12-month target of $1,000. * Among other precious metals, spot silver steadied after falling 2.4 percent on Monday. Platinum edged up 0.7 percent, while palladium was down 0.2 percent. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click or MARKET NEWS * Asian shares are expected to consolidate gains on Tuesday as the Chinese currency and shares show signs of stability, oil prices rebound, and solid U.S. consumption data suggest last week's sell-off was overdone. PRICES AT 0042 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg Spot gold 1208.56 -0.74 -0.06 Spot silver 15.333 0.002 0.01 Spot platinum 938.71 6.46 0.69 Spot palladium 510.5 -1 -0.2 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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