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PRECIOUS-Gold set for weekly drop as appetite for risk curbs haven demand

SINGAPORE, April 15 (Reuters) - Gold nursed losses on Friday
after posting three days of declines and was heading for its
first weekly drop in three as strength in the dollar and global
equities curbed appetite for the safe-haven metal.  
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold had eased 0.1 percent to $1,225.70 an
ounce by 0042 GMT, following a 1.3-percent drop in the previous
session. For the week, it is down 1 percent after hitting a
three-week high earlier.
    * Stocks across the globe rose to their highest levels since
late December on Thursday and the U.S. dollar gained for a third
day running as investors embraced risk.
    * Markets are awaiting Chinese GDP data due later on Friday
and Sunday's meeting of top oil producers in Doha for near-term
cues.
    * Bullion-backed exchange-traded funds have seen outflows in
recent days, weighing on gold prices.    
    * Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to 806.82 tonnes on
Thursday, the lowest in a month.
    * Gold has steadied after its biggest quarterly rise in
nearly 30 years in the three months to March, driven by a
retreat in expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will push
ahead with several rate hikes this year.
    * Gold is sensitive to rising interest rates, which lift the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets, while boosting
the dollar.
    * Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart on Thursday made it
clear he would not support a rate hike this month and set a high
bar for supporting any move even at the Federal Reserve's June
meeting. 
    * The Fed will raise interest rates twice this year, most
likely in June, but the probability has faded on signs of a weak
start to the year, inflation that is still tame and a brittle
global backdrop, a Reuters poll showed. 
    * Deutsche Bank AG agreed to settle U.S. lawsuits
accusing it of conspiring with other banks to manipulate gold
and silver prices at investors' expense, court papers show.
    
    * Among other precious metals, silver was on track to
post a 5-percent weekly gain, its biggest jump in six weeks. It
hit its highest since October earlier this week before giving
back some gains.
    * Platinum was headed for its third straight weekly
gain, while palladium was poised for its best week in six
with a 3.5-percent rise.    
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0200 China GDP Q1 
    0200 China Industrial output Mar 
    0200 China Retail sales Mar 
    0200 China Urban investment Mar 
    0900 Euro zone Eurostat trade Feb 
    1230 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing Apr 
    1315 U.S. Industrial output Mar 
    1400 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index Apr

    PRICES AT 0042 GMT
 Metal              Last     Change   Pct chg
                                              
 Spot gold           1225.7    -1.31     -0.11
 Spot silver          16.11   -0.038     -0.24
 Spot platinum       982.65     -5.6     -0.57
 Spot palladium         558    -3.75     -0.67
 Comex gold          1227.6      1.1      0.09
 Comex silver         16.14   -0.033      -0.2
                                              
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most
 active months
 

 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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