PRECIOUS-Gold steady, finds support from geopolitical worries

    April 11 (Reuters) - Gold held firm on Tuesday, buoyed by
its safe-haven status amid rising political tensions over North
Korea and the Middle East.
    * Spot gold        was mostly unchanged at $1,254 per ounce
by 0101 GMT. U.S. gold futures         edged up 0.1 percent to
    * The upcoming French presidential election and heightened
tensions in the Korean peninsula and Middle East following the
U.S. strikes on Syria have left investors nervous, even as a
raft of data over recent months have pointed to a steadily
improving global economy. 
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke on Monday to U.S.
President Donald Trump and agreed that "a window of opportunity"
exists to persuade Russia to break ties with Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad, May's office said.             
    * The Federal Reserve plans to raise U.S. interest rates
gradually so as to sustain healthy growth without letting the
economy overheat, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday.
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.21 percent to 838.26
tonnes on Monday from 836.49 tonnes on Friday.          
    * The LBMA silver price benchmark auction was paused for 17
minutes on Monday after a circuit breaker was triggered when the
auction price moved outside of the spot range, the CME said in a
    * The International Monetary Fund sees a more favourable
outlook for the global economy this year and next than in 2016,
but it has concerns beyond the near term, IMF Managing Director
Christine Lagarde said on Monday.             
    * Investor sentiment in the euro zone improved more than
expected in April to remain at the highest level in almost 10
years on Monday, shrugging off risks linked to a closely watched
presidential election in France.             
    * The Bank of Japan offered its most optimistic view of the
country's regional economies in nearly a decade, even as some
firms warned that uncertainty over U.S. President Donald Trump's
trade policies could affect their capital expenditure plans.
    0900  Euro Zone   Industrial Production  Feb
    1000  U.S.        NFIB Business Optimism Mar 
    1400  U.S.        JOLTS Job Openings     Feb

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Pullin)