PRECIOUS-Gold steady as dollar slips on Fed minutes

    May 25 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Thursday to keep most
of its gains from the previous session, with the dollar slipping
after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting
dampened hopes for an aggressive string of interest rate hikes.
    * Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,256.61 per
ounce by 0053 GMT. It rose about 0.6 percent on Wednesday. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.3 percent at $1,256.8
an ounce.
    * Fed policymakers agreed they should hold off on raising
interest rates until it was clear a recent U.S. economic
slowdown was temporary, though most said a hike was coming soon,
minutes from their last policy meeting showed on Wednesday.
    * The dollar was on the defensive early on Thursday, while
the euro edged back up towards a 6-1/2-month high.       
    * Asian shares eked out modest gains on Thursday.
    * U.S. home resales fell from a more than 10-year high in
April, weighed down by a chronic shortage of houses on the
market that is keeping prices elevated and sidelining
prospective buyers.             
    * London's gold benchmark experienced large, unpredictable
fluctuations after some banks left the auction that sets the
price relied upon by the $5 trillion-a-year bullion market,
according to a Reuters analysis of trading data.             
    * Euro zone economic growth may be improving - and European
Central Bank policy will reflect this - but inflation remains
weak so there is no need to deviate from the policy path already
laid out, top ECB policymakers said on Wednesday.               
    * Platinum producer Lonmin                  re-opened two of
its shafts in South Africa on May 20 after community protests
stopped, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.             
    * Russia raised gold holdings its by 7.2 tonnes to 1,687.3
tonnes in April, while Kazakhstan ramped up its holdings by 3.2
tonnes to 270.918 tonnes during the same period, according to
IMF data.               
    0830  Britain GDP 2nd release     Q1 
    1230  U.S. Trade balance          Apr 
    1230  U.S. Wholesale inventory    Apr 
    1230  U.S. Weekly jobless claims 

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph