PRECIOUS-Gold near 4-month low as China GDP fuels risk sentiment

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* China Q1 GDP at 6.4 pct vs analyst expectations of 6.3 pct

* Gold has fallen by over 5 pct from Feb high

* SPDR Gold holdings fall to near six-month lows (Updates prices)

April 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices stayed below the key $1,280level on Wednesday, near a four-month trough, asbetter-than-expected economic readings from China lifted Asianshares and sharpened risk appetite, denting the metal'ssafe-haven appeal.

Spot gold XAU= were up 0.1 percent at $1,277.32 per ounceas of 0513 GMT, after having fallen as much as 1.2 percent to$1,272.70, its lowest since Dec. 27, in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were up 0.2 percent to $1,278.80an ounce.

China's pace of economic growth in the first quarterremained steady at 6.4 percent, beating expectations of a growthrate of 6.3 percent, helped by a sharply higher factoryproduction. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nB9N21S004

The data, which signalled that Beijing's recent stimulusdrive might be paying off, swung Asian shares higher. MKTS/GLOB

"With the (Chinese) data that we've got, it certainly adds abit of a downside to gold from here," said IG Markets analystKyle Rodda.

"The fact that we have broken below the key $1,280 levelmight make it difficult for prices to recover."

The metal has fallen by over 5 percent since its Februaryhigh of $1,346.73 an ounce and is trading below its 50 and100-day moving averages, which, analysts say is a sign offurther weakness.

"Signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations andstrong U.S. economic data have further bolstered risk appetitessince the start of the second quarter," Phillip Futures analystBenjamin Lu said in a note.

"The precious metal looks poised to undergo a bearishcorrection amidst growing downside risks in the near term," thenote added.

Gold, a non-yielding asset for investors looking to hedgeagainst times of economic and political uncertainty, losesappeal when interest-yielding equities rise.

A gauge of investors' interest in the metal, holdings ofSPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, fell to a near six-month low to 752.27tonnes on Tuesday. GOL/ETF

Elsewhere, silver XAG= gained 0.4 percent to $15.03 anounce.

Spot platinum XPT= rose 0.6 percent, to $881.56 per ounce,while palladium XPD= also climbed 0.6 percent to $1,357.20.

The recent weakness in palladium prices was instigated by aconjunction of profit-taking and poor car sales data in Chinaand the U.S., Metals Focus said in a note on Tuesday.

However, analysts at Standard Chartered expect supplydeficit which had earlier pushed the metal to a record high of $1,620.53 last month, to deepen through this year and in 2020. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nFWN21Y0G2 (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by RichardPullin and Shreejay Sinha) ((Arijit.Bose@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832,Outside U.S. +91 8067495254; Reuters Messaging:Arijit.Bose.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Politics
Referenced Symbols: GLD ,

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