PRECIOUS-Gold up on weaker dollar, sluggish U.S. economic data

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Monday, propped
up by a weaker dollar and sluggish economic data from the United
States, while the Lunar New Year holiday in Asia was seen
limiting gains.

    * Spot gold was trading up 0.2 percent at $1,193.70
per ounce by 0029 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures rose 0.4 percent, to $1,193.20
an ounce.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was down 0.2 percent. 
    * Gold demand in India improved, boosted by a fall in prices
overseas, although some consumers are waiting in the hope that
import duty will be cut in the government's budget. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers added to their bullish
position in COMEX copper contracts for a third straight week, in
the week to Jan. 24, lifting it to a record, U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.
    * Analysts have sharply scaled back expectations for gold
prices this year after the metal's weak fourth-quarter
performance, with the prospect of further U.S. interest rate
hikes and a bumper year for stocks weighing on interest in the
    * Analysts have hiked their 2017 palladium price forecasts
on expectations that reflationary policies in the United States
will boost growth, and consequently car sales, this year, even
as forecasts for other precious metals such as platinum are cut.
    * Societe Generale on Friday cut its gold price forecast to
$1,175 per ounce from $1,275 per ounce for Q1 2017; to $1,150
per ounce from $1,300 per ounce for 2017. 
    * U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter
as a plunge in shipments of soybeans weighed on exports, but
steady consumer spending and rising business investment pointed
to sustained strength in domestic demand. 
    * Mark Carney, who has spent much of his time in charge of
the Bank of England trying to signal what the central bank is
planning, will probably say next week that he doesn't know what
its next move will be. 
     1000  Euro zone   Economic sentiment             Jan 
     1300  Germany     Consumer prices                Jan 
     1330  U.S.        Personal income                Dec 
     1500  U.S.        Pending homes sales            Dec 

 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru)