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PRECIOUS-Gold steady after Manchester blast; U.S. political turmoil supports

    * Spot gold may gain further to $1,272/ounce - technicals
    * Platinum, silver hover near 3-week high

 (Updates prices, adds quote)
    By Vijaykumar Vedala
    May 23 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Tuesday with
investors staying on the sidelines after a suicide bombing
attack in the English city of Manchester left at least 22 people
dead and more than 50 injured. 
    The explosion occurred at the end of a concert by U.S.
singer Ariana Grande on Monday. 
    Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being
treated as a terrorist attack, making it the deadliest militant
assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people
in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005.  
                     
    "Right now, precious metals prices are relatively quiet,
this despite tragic news coming out of Manchester, England,"
said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
    "We suspect that gold will respond more forcefully going
into Tuesday's session as geopolitical tensions start to rise
again." 
    Spot gold        was nearly flat at $1,259.81 per ounce as
of 0823 GMT. 
    U.S. gold futures         dipped 0.1 percent to $1,259.70 an
ounce.  
    The metal has been supported by the political tensions in
the United States due to the controversies involving President
Donald Trump, and the dollar's weakness against the euro.
    "The weaker dollar is helping gold … Chopping off of some
long positions has made the market healthier," said Ronald
Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong. 
    Spot gold advanced by 2.2 percent last week as the furore
over Trump's alleged links to Russia and his firing of former
Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey raised
concerns about his ability to push through promised fiscal
stimulus.                         
    "Headlines out of Washington are likely to provide continued
support for the metal," Sam Laughlin, senior precious metals
trader at MKS said in a note. 
    The euro hovered near a six-month high against the dollar on
Tuesday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the currency
was "too weak".                    
    Spot gold may gain further to $1,272 per ounce, following
its break above a resistance at $1,257, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.                  
    "Nervousness ahead of Thursday's OPEC meeting should see
traders continue to hedge risk by buying gold on dips over the
next few days," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at
OANDA.
    Among other precious metals, silver        was down 0.2
percent at $17.08 an ounce. It hit a three-week peak on Monday,
when it rose 1.8 percent in its biggest one-day percentage rise
since April 11. 
    Platinum        was down 0.1 percent at $945.05 an ounce but
hovered near its highest in more than three weeks touched on
Monday.
    Palladium        dipped 0.4 percent to $767.20 per ounce. It
fell to a more than two-month low in intraday trading on Monday
but recovered to end the day 1.5 percent higher, its biggest
one-day percentage gain since April 20.

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in BENGALURU; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu and Tom Hogue)
  
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