BENGALURU, July 21 (Reuters) - Gold hit a three-week low on Thursday, after falling more than 1 percent in the previous session, as equities rose and with investors eyeing a European Central Bank meeting later in the day amid rising expectations rise for a U.S. interest rate hike. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold fell 0.3 percent at $1,311.83 an ounce at 0057 GMT. Bullion fell 1.2 percent on Wednesday. * U.S. gold was down 0.6 percent at $1,311.70 an ounce. * Asian shares edged up on Thursday, bolstered by fresh record highs on Wall Street and a recovery in oil prices, while the dollar climbed to a six-week peak against the safe-haven yen. * Gold has risen over 25 percent this year, hitting its highest since March 2014 at $1,374.91 earlier this month. * The European Central Bank is all but certain to keep rates firmly on hold on Thursday but will have to address an ever growing list of obstacles that threaten once again to derail its efforts to revive growth and inflation. The bank will announce its rate decision at 1145 GMT and ECB chief Mario Draghi will hold a news conference at 1230 GMT. * Investors betting the Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy next week could be riding for a fall, as the yen's recent weakening and a government spending package take some pressure off the bank to step up its massive stimulus programme. * The Russian central bank increased its gold reserves to 48.2 million troy ounces as of July 1 from 47.6 million ounces one month earlier, the bank said on Wednesday. * Newmont Mining's adjusted net income in the second quarter blew past market expectations on Wednesday and the world's second-biggest gold miner by value also cut its gold cost forecast * Canadian mining company Agnico Eagle said on Wednesday that a group of armed men stormed one of its mines in northern Mexico early on Tuesday morning, injuring a security guard and making off with a haul of silver and gold. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click or DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1230 US Philly Fed reports for July 1400 US Exisiting Home Sales for June China breakdown of commodity imports due * no time (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru)
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