PRECIOUS-Gold firms as dollar, stocks retreat, but still eyes weekly loss

    * Forecast-beating euro zone inflation data boosts euro
    * Gold still set for second weekly loss, down 1.3 pct
    * Palladium rallies to two-year high at $831.50/oz
    * Coming up: Fed meeting May 2-3

 (Updates prices; adds comment, byline, NEW YORK dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey
    NEW YORK/LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday as
forecast-beating euro zone inflation data boosted the euro
versus the dollar, while global stock markets retreated from
Wednesday's record highs on concerns about global trade. 
    The euro rose toward 5-1/2-month highs as the data was seen
as keeping pressure on the European Central Bank to start
dialing back stimulus measures as early as June. That lifted
gold, which is priced in the U.S. currency.             
    Spot gold        was up 0.3 percent at $1,266.9 an ounce by
2:42 p.m. EDT (1842 GMT), on track to close April up 1.5
    U.S. gold futures        for June delivery settled up 0.2
percent at $1,268.30.
    "At this point, $1,300 looks like it's more appealing for
gold than $1,100," ING analyst Hamza Khan said. 
    "A bit more weakness in the dollar, combined with more
movements around North Korea, could be the situation that sets
the stage for higher gold prices."
    Jitters over tensions in the Korean peninsula and the threat
of a strong showing from an anti-European Union candidate in the
French elections helped drive gold higher last week.
    However, it is now on track for its biggest weekly drop in
seven as fading concerns over Korea and a strong showing in the
first round of the French vote from centrist candidate Emmanuel
Macron sharpened risk appetite, pressuring gold.
    "Most of the correction should be done by now," Commerzbank
analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "We see good support at this
level. There are a lot of uncertainties remaining."
    Banks remain stubbornly cautious on gold's price prospects
this year in spite of a strong first-quarter performance, a
Reuters poll showed on Friday, as the prospect of higher
interest rates take the shine off the metal.            
    Among other precious metals, silver        was down 0.1
percent at $17.20 an ounce, after falling to $17.12, the lowest
since March 15.
    Giovanni Staunovo, analyst for UBS Chief Information Office,
said the bank shifted its three-month silver stance to bearish
from bullish, cutting their price forecast to $16.50 an ounce
from $20.
    "The impact of gold's weakness on silver prices could be
amplified by near-record speculative long positions. Longer
term, silver should relatively outperform gold," Staunovo said.
    Spot palladium        was up 1.2 percent at $825, having
touched a two-year high of $831.50. It was the only weekly
gainer among the precious metals, set to finish the week up 4.2
    Platinum        was up 0.1 percent at $941.50.

 (Additional reporting by Swati Verma and Nallur Sethuraman in
Bengaluru; editing by Susan Thomas and Chizu Nomiyama)