PRECIOUS-Gold slips to 2-wk lows as rallying equities boost risk appetite

    April 26 (Reuters) - Gold dipped on Wednesday to a two-week
low after a near 1 percent decline in the previous session as
increased investor appetite for risk boosted equities and dulled
demand for safe-haven assets.
    * Spot gold        slipped 0.2 percent to $1,261.36 per
ounce by 0055 GMT. Prices touched a low of 1,260.90 earlier in
the session, the lowest since April 11. 
    * Bullion fell 0.9 percent on Tuesday, the biggest one-day
decline since early March.
    * U.S. gold futures         were down 0.3 percent at
$1,262.90 an ounce.
    * Asian stocks extended gains for a fifth straight day on
Wednesday as Wall Street hit new peaks.            
    * The Nasdaq Composite hit a record high on Tuesday, while
the Dow and S&P 500 brushed against recent peaks as strong
earnings underscored the health of corporate America.
    * The U.S. military started moving parts of the
controversial THAAD anti-missile defence system to a deployment
site in South Korea on Wednesday amid high tensions over North
Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.             
    * U.S. consumer confidence fell from a more than 16-year
high in April, but a surge in new home sales to an eight-month
high last month suggested underlying strength in the economy.
    * The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend
appeared to recede on Tuesday after President Donald Trump
backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his
planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill.             
    * Goldman Sachs, in a note on Monday, said it continues to
expect gold to come under pressure in the near term on a
potential rally in real interest rates following the expected
unveiling of President Trump's tax policies on Wednesday or
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.69 percent to 854.25
tonnes on Tuesday.          
    * China's net-gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong more
than doubled month-on-month in March, data showed on Tuesday.
    * Baiyin Nonferrous Group Co Ltd             said its unit
Gold One Group Ltd plans to invest up to $200 million to South
Africa's Sibanye Gold Ltd         , while Sibanye's shareholders
a $2.2 billion buyout of U.S.-based Stillwater Mining        .
    * Barrick Gold          gave details on Tuesday of $500
million worth of improvements and expansions it is planning at
its Veladero mine in Argentina over the next five years.
    * The price of silver will likely climb in 2017 and over the
next several years, following through on 2016's gains on renewed
investor interest in precious metals, CPM Group said on Tuesday.

    0645  France         Consumer confidence         April

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard