PRECIOUS-Gold retreats from near 8-year peak after solid U.S. data

    * U.S. ISM Manufacturing data hits over one-year high  
    * SPDR gold ETF holdings at over 8-year peak
    * Silver drops from more than 4-month peak
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open in an external browser.

 (Updates prices)
    By Nakul Iyer
    July 1 (Reuters) - Gold dropped from a near eight-year high
on Wednesday as equities gained on the back of encouraging U.S.
manufacturing data and rising hopes for a potential COVID-19
    Spot gold        fell 0.6% to $1,770.57 per ounce by 1:31
p.m. EDT (1731 GMT), having earlier hit a peak since October
2012 at $1788.96. U.S. gold futures         settled down 1.1%,
at $1,779.90. 
    "A renewed sense of optimism over the U.S. economy
recovering quicker than expected may fuel the risk-on mood,
ultimately denting appetite for safe-haven assets including
gold," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.
    U.S. manufacturing activity rebounded in June, hitting its
highest level in more than a year, bolstering the stock market
along with hopes of a vaccine developed by BioNTech          and
Pfizer         that has shown potential in early stage human
    "Gold remains in an uptrend on the daily charts but the
momentum could be running out of steam," Otunuga said, adding
that if prices dip below $1,765 that may open a path back
towards $1,747 and $1,715. 
    The bullion surged over 13% last quarter due to fears of a
second wave of infections and as global central banks have
bumped up stimulus measures and kept interest rates low to ease
the economic blow from the pandemic.             
    Differences in how state governments are handling their
economic shutdowns in the United States and the strong
likelihood that there will be more stimulus are likely to
support gold prices, said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle
Squared Alternative Investments.
    Reflecting high investor demand, holdings in the world's
largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      ,
increased by 211.9 tonnes, or nearly 22%, in the second quarter.
    Other precious metals also declined, with silver       
falling 1.1% to $17.93. The metal earlier in the day hit its
highest since late February.
    Palladium        slid 1.1% to $1,908.68 per ounce and
platinum        eased 0.4% to $813.15 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by Marguerita Choy and Sonya Hepinstall)