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PRECIOUS-Gold climbs to near 3-week high on safe-haven demand

SINGAPORE, April 11 (Reuters) - Gold jumped to its highest
in nearly three weeks on Monday as cautiousness in global
equities and the dollar underpinned demand for the metal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold rose to $1,247.60 an ounce early on
Monday, its highest since March 23. It later pared some gains to
trade up 0.4 percent to $1,245.30 an ounce by 0036 GMT,
following its best weekly gain in five weeks on Friday.
    * The dollar nursed losses against major currencies on
Monday. Safe-haven yen was consolidating a week of solid gains
that saw it climb to highs not seen since 2014. 
    * Asian stocks got off to a tentative start on Monday as
Japanese markets wobbled. 
    * Global stocks declined last week on risk-averse sentiment
in the market amid weak economic data and uncertainty over U.S.
monetary policy. 
    * Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday said the
U.S. economy is on a solid course and still on track to warrant
further interest rate hikes. 
    * New York Fed President William Dudley on Friday said the
central bank must approach further rate hikes cautiously and
gradually because of lingering external risks to the U.S.
economy, despite some strength at home and welcome hints of
inflation. 
    * Higher rates would weigh on gold by lifting the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Waning
expectations for further rate increases this year helped gold to
its best quarter in nearly 30 years in the three months to
March.
    * Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long
positions in gold and silver futures and options in the week to
April 5, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.
 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.22 percent to
817.81 tonnes on Friday. 
    * South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU) said on Sunday it had agreed to take a new wage
offer from Sibanye Gold and called off a strike.
 
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    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0130 China Producer prices Mar 
    0130 China Consumer prices Mar 
    0800 Italy Industrial output Feb

    PRICES AT 0036 GMT
    
 Metal             Last     Change   Pct chg
                                            
 Spot gold          1245.3     5.29     0.43
 Spot silver        15.391    0.049     0.32
 Spot platinum      966.31     4.81      0.5
 Spot palladium        540     0.78     0.14
 Comex gold         1247.4      3.6     0.29
 Comex silver       15.395    0.011     0.07
                                            
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 
    
    

 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)
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