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PRECIOUS-Gold sticks near 2-week low on firm dollar, equities

MANILA, May 11 (Reuters) - Gold held not far off a two-week
low early on Wednesday, pressured by a firmer dollar and
equities as robust corporate earnings reports lifted global
stocks.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,266.70 an ounce
by 0044 GMT, after touching a low of $1,257.25 on Tuesday, its
weakest since April 28.
    * U.S. gold for June delivery gained 0.3 percent to
$1,268.20 an ounce.
    * Appetite for gold appeared to have eased after the metal
failed to convincingly breach the $1,300 resistance level last
week. But it was still up more than 19 percent for the year as
expectations for a near-term increase in U.S. interest rates had
eased.
    * Gold, which reached a 15-month high of $1,303.60 on May 2,
will find the $1,300 level a tough barrier, as the investment
appetite seen so far this year is unlikely to be replicated when
physical demand is so poor, ICBC Standard Bank analyst Tom
Kendall said.
    * "Looking ahead, we see limited upside for gold pricing
given the limited room for the Fed to surprise to the downside,
limited room for the dollar to depreciate, and limited room for
China to drive (emerging markets) currency strength to
contribute to dollar weakness," Goldman Sachs said. 
    * The global gold hedge book grew by 18 tonnes in the fourth
quarter, an industry report showed, and producers continued to
hedge in 2016 to lock in a sharp price rise in the first
quarter. 
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Asian stocks pulled away from eight-week lows a day after
solid corporate earnings sparked a rally in global equities
while the yen struggled amid intervention warnings from Tokyo in
the wake of the currency's rapid rise. 
    * The dollar was near two-week highs versus a basket 
of major currencies although dovish comments from core Federal
Reserve members are still keeping the greenback on a leash.
 
    

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