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PRECIOUS-Gold falls on dollar, stocks; on track for worst week since May 2017

(Updates prices)

* Gold down 2.6 percent so far this week

* Silver marks biggest weekly fall since Feb 2018

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

By Arijit Bose

March 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Friday fell more than 1percent to their lowest since the January, headed for theirbiggest weekly decline in more than 1-1/2 years, as the dollarstrengthened and global stock advances spurred risk-taking.

Spot gold XAU= was at $1,293.38 an ounce at 2:18 pm ET(1918 GMT), having fallen below the key 1,300 level for thefirst time since Jan. 28. It is down about 2.6 percent so farthis week, the most since May 2017.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled down 1.3 percent at$1,299.2.

"The U.S. dollar index and two-year Treasury yields havemoved up over the last couple of days and these factors haveprompted people to take some profits (in gold)," said BartMelek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.

"We are also seeing a continued reaction to Federal Reservestatements where hikes are still on the menu, given that dataseems to be fairly strong in the United States."

Better-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product data onThursday boosted Treasury yields, making non-yielding bullionless attractive. US/

The data also helped lift the dollar to a 10-week highagainst the Japanese yen earlier in the session. USD/

Higher global stocks also weighed on gold, analysts said. MKTS/GLOB

"Better sentiment on the stock markets and a reluctance bythe physical gold investors are weighing on its price,"Commerzbank analysts said.

Reflecting investor appetite for bullion, holdings of theSPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, on Thursday fell to their lowest sincelate December. GOL/ETF

Palladium XPD= rose 0.2 percent to $1,546.51 an ounce. Themetal hit an all-time peak of $1,565.09 this week and is headedfor a fourth consecutive week of gains.

"The threat of a possible strike in South African mines iskeeping the prices high," said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vicepresident of Heraeus Metal Management in New York.

"Even though it has been forestalled by the court of SouthAfrica, the threat still exists, and until that threat is takenoff the table we will see both platinum and palladium pricesstill strong."

Platinum XPT= dipped 1.4 percent to $857.75 per ounce, butremained on track for a third straight weekly gain.

Silver XAG= dropped 2.6 percent to $15.20 per ounce afterhitting $15.14, a low last seen on Jan. 22. The metal was down4.5 percent so far for the week, its biggest decline since theweek of Feb. 2, 2018. (Reporting by Arijit Bose, Swati Verma and Eileen Soreng inBengaluru; Editing by Susan Thomas and Steve Orlofsky) ((Arijit.Bose@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832,Outside U.S. +91 8067495254; Reuters Messaging:Arijit.Bose.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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