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PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 3-wk high, set for second weekly rise

BENGALURU, June 10 (Reuters) - Gold eased early on Friday as
the dollar drifted away from a one month-low, but the metal
stayed near a three-week high and remained on track for a second
straight weekly rise.          
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,266.40 an
ounce by 0058 GMT. Bullion on Thursday touched its highest since
May 18 at $1,271.31. 
    * The safe haven asset, which has gained nearly 20 percent
so far 2016, has risen 1.8 percent this week.   
    * U.S. gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,269.50
    * The dollar index stood at 94.191, pulling away from
a trough near 93.400. Driving the index's rise was a bearish
turn in the euro.   
    * The Federal Reserve is likely to raise U.S. interest rates
in September and possibly as soon as July, according to a
Reuters poll taken in the days after news of a sharp drop in
hiring that has led some to worry that the economy is losing
momentum. 
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained strength in
the labour market despite a sharp slowdown in hiring last month.
 
    * The U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 2.5 percent
annualized rate in the second quarter, the Atlanta Federal
Reserve's GDPNow forecast model showed. 
    * Investors pumped the most funds into U.S.-based
emerging-market stock funds since March in the latest week,
Lipper data released on Thursday showed. 
    * Sales of bullion bars and coins have picked up in London,
ahead of the June 23 referendum on Britain's exit from the
European Union, as latest polls suggested that the 'leave'
campaign is gaining support. 
    * Holding in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.71 percent to 887.38
tonnes on Thursday. 
    * Members of South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM) will not return to work at Northam Platinum's 
Zondereinde mine until they receives assurances over security
from police and the company, an NUM spokesman said on Thursday.
       
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET REPORT
    * Asian shares stepped back on Friday while investors poured
funds into safe-haven assets amid festering concerns about the
British referendum. 
        
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
            China  foreign direct investment      May 
     0600   Germany wholesale price index         May 
     0645   France industrial output              Apr 
     1400   U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index Jun 
     
     * China data timing unavailable    

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)
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