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PRECIOUS-Gold prices slip as equities gain after Fed minutes

    April 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Thursday as
investors turned to riskier assets after the U.S. Federal
Reserve's latest meeting minutes indicated continued policy
support and cemented hopes of a quick economic turnaround.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        inched down 0.03% to $1,736.76 per ounce
at 0149 GMT. U.S. Gold futures        fell 0.3% to $1,736.50 per
ounce.
    * Officials at the Federal Reserve are concerned about the
ongoing risks of the COVID-19 pandemic and are committed to
supporting the economy until its recovery is more stable,
according to minutes of the central bank's most recent policy
meeting released on Wednesday.             
    * Asian equities were on track to mirror Wall Street's
cautious gains, weighing on the metal's safe-haven allure.
           
    * The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in February
helped by massive fiscal stimulus that is expected to put the
country's economy on-track for the fastest growth in nearly four
decades.             
    * U.S. President Joe Biden made a fiery appeal for U.S
companies to foot most of the bill for his $2 trillion-plus
infrastructure plan, but signalled an openness to negotiate over
exactly how much they would have to pay.             
    * Limiting gold's losses, the U.S. dollar traded near more
than two-week troughs versus major peers on Thursday, tracking
Treasury yields lower.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.35 tonne to
1,028.69 tonnes on Wednesday from 1,029.04 tonnes on Tuesday.
         
    * The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) said it had tripled the
country's gold reserves to 94.5 tonnes, its highest level in
decades.             
    * Silver        fell 0.3% to $25.03 and palladium        was
down 0.2% to $2,617.71. Platinum        rose 0.1% to $1,226.16.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600  Germany  Industrial Orders MM  Feb
0645  France   Reserve Assets Total  March
1230  US       Initial Jobless Clm   Weekly

 (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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