PRECIOUS-Gold steady as firmer dollar offsets fears of new infections

    May 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady in early Asian
trade on Tuesday after two straight sessions of falls, as a
stronger dollar countered fears of a new wave of coronavirus
infections in many countries.
    * Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,695.75 per ounce by
0038 GMT. U.S. gold futures        eased 0.2% to $1,695.40.
    * Against key rivals, the dollar        rose to a more than
two-week high, making gold costlier for investors holding other
    * Asian equities were set to slip amid growing investor
worries about a second wave of virus infections after the
Chinese city, where the pandemic originated, reported its first
new cases since its lockdown was lifted.            
    * Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak in China, reported
its first cluster of virus infections since a lockdown on the
city was lifted a month ago, stoking concerns of a wider
    * Factory workers began returning to assembly lines in
Michigan on Monday, paving the way to reopen the U.S. auto
sector but stoking fears of a second wave of coronavirus
infections as strict lockdowns are eased across the country.
    * U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers say they will do what it
takes to cushion an economy crushed by the widespread lockdowns,
but there's one thing they probably won't do: take interest
rates below zero.             
    * In a month when Americans in most states were being asked
to stay home because of the pandemic, U.S. consumers became more
fearful about losing their jobs and more pessimistic about their
ability to access credit or pay their bills, according to a New
York Federal Reserve survey.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said he opposed renegotiating
the U.S.-China "Phase 1" trade deal after a Chinese state-run
newspaper reported some government advisers in Beijing were
urging fresh talks and possibly invalidating the agreement.
    * Japan could lift a state-of-emergency in many regions this
week if new coronavirus infections are under control, the
economy minister said, as the country inches toward a gradual
return of economic activity.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.05% to 1,081.07
tonnes on Monday.          
    * Palladium        slipped 0.4% to $1,887.51 per ounce and
silver        fell 1.2% to $15.36, while platinum        climbed
0.3% to $758.98.

1230  U.S.  CPI MM, SA     April    

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)