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PRECIOUS-Gold near 1-1/2-week low as dollar keeps strength

* Bullion has fallen in five out of past six sessions
    * Coming up: U.S. wholesale inventories at 1400 GMT

 (Updates prices)
    By Manolo Serapio Jr
    MANILA, May 10 (Reuters) - Gold steadied near a 1-1/2-week
low on Tuesday, under pressure after suffering its steepest loss
since March in the prior session as the dollar remained strong,
curbing appetite for the precious metal.
    Bullion has fallen in five out of the past six sessions,
having failed to hold above resistance at $1,300, and not
benefitting much from data last week showing that the U.S.
economy added the fewest jobs in seven months in April.
    But gold is still up 19 percent this year as expectations
for a near-term increase in U.S. interest rates had eased.
    Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,265.95 an ounce by
0638 GMT, after hitting an early low of $1,259.51, its weakest
since April 28. Bullion fell 1.9 percent on Monday, its sharpest
single-day drop since March 23.
    HSBC analyst James Steel said the price of gold "looked
increasingly overextended up around $1,300," adding that demand
at gold-backed exchange-traded funds has moderated in the past
six weeks. 
    "We remain longer term relatively positive but believe we
are entering a corrective phase that may take prices closer to
the $1,220 level near term," Steel wrote in a note.
    "If the dollar continues to rally back, gold may be further
pressured."
    The dollar drifted to its highest in nearly two weeks versus
a basket of major currencies, making dollar-denominated
assets such as gold more expensive for holders of other
currencies.
    U.S. gold for June delivery was up 0.1 percent
at$1,268 an ounce.
    Physical demand for gold in China is uncertain looking
forward and consumption in India is "sluggish at best", Steel
said on appetite in the top two bullion consumers.
    Indians bought a third less gold than last year during the
annual Hindu and Jain holy festival of Akshaya Tritiya on
Monday, industry officials estimate, as droughts have hit the
earnings of millions of farmers and the metal's price rallied.
  

 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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