April 20 (Reuters) - Gold held firm on Thursday, after falling as much as 1 percent the previous day, as tensions surrounding North Korea and the upcoming French presidential election offered support to the safe-haven asset amid a firmer dollar. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,280 per ounce as of 0107 GMT. The metal fell 0.8 percent on Wednesday, its worst one-day drop in over a month. * U.S. gold futures were down 0.2 percent at $1,281.30 * The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, edged up 0.1 percent to 99.781 , moving away from a three-week low of 99.465 plumbed on Tuesday. * A run of disappointing U.S. economic data and doubts the Trump administration will progress with tax cuts have quelled expectations of faster inflation, while the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book that the U.S. economy expanded at a modest-to-moderate pace between mid-February and the end of March. * U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday that Washington would work with its allies and China to put economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea but added that the United States would defeat any attack with an "overwhelming response". * Prospects for the euro zone economy have improved but the time to withdraw support has not yet come, three European Central Bank rate setters said on Wednesday, days before a tense French presidential election and the ECB's own policy meeting. * Stocks, bond yields and the dollar are all falling, yield curves are flattening and sterling is marching higher. The "reflation" trades of 2016 that were supposed to mark a turning point in global markets are fading fast. * SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.39 percent to 860.76 tonnes on Wednesday from 848.92 tonnes on Tuesday. * Shanghai-listed Shandong Tyan Home said on Wednesday its negotiations with Barrick Gold Corp to buy the Canadian operator's 50-percent stake in Kalgoorlie mine have ended without a deal, citing new capital and acquisition rules in China. * China Development Bank is considering providing financing for a Chinese consortium seeking to buy a stake in Russia's largest gold producer Polyus , two sources familiar with discussions about the potential deal told Reuters. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0600 Germany Producer prices Mar 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1230 U.S. Philly Fed business index Apr 1330 IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde briefing 1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence flash Mar 1400 U.S. Leading index Mar (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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