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PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 2-wk lows as dollar gains on upbeat U.S. data

March 1 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Friday, but held closeto its lowest in two weeks, as the U.S. dollar recouped lossesthanks to stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. gold futures GCv1 were flat at $1,315.80 an ounce.

* The dollar .DXY , which pulled back from over three-weeklows, was up 0.1 percent against major currencies. USD/

* U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 2.6 percentannualised rate in the fourth quarter, above economists'forecasts for a 2.3 percent gain.

* Asian shares inched higher on Friday with broader gainscapped by investor caution as concerns about China's economy andglobal trade weighed on sentiment. MKTS/GLOB

* Factory activity in China contracted to a three-year lowin February as export orders fell at the fastest pace since theglobal financial crisis, highlighting deepening cracks in aneconomy facing weak demand at home and abroad.

* U.S. President Donald Trump warned he could walk away froma trade deal with China if it were not good enough, even as hiseconomic advisers touted "fantastic" progress towards anagreement to end a dispute with the Asian country.

* A second summit between Trump and North Korean leader KimJong Un collapsed over sanctions, and the two sides gaveconflicting accounts of what happened, raising questions aboutthe future of their denuclearisation negotiations.

* China's leaders will pledge in parliament next week tokeep the country on safe footing as the economy faces itsbiggest test in years, amid pressure to roll out more measuresto bolster growth and revive weak business and consumerconfidence.

* Indian military officials said they welcomed Pakistan'splanned return of a captured pilot, but refused to confirm theywould de-escalate a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

* South Africa's labour court has ordered a mineworkers'union to suspend its plans for an industry-wide strike from Feb.28 to March 7 until it issues a ruling on whether to block theaction.

* Two of Ecuador's five mines in development are on track tostart producing copper and gold in the fourth quarter of 2019 inline with plans, a senior government official said in aninterview.

* The U.S. Mint sold 12,500 ounces of American Eagle goldcoins in February, down 81.1 percent from the previous month,according to the latest data.

* SPDR Gold TrustGLD , the world's largest gold-backedexchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.52 percent to784.22 tonnes on Thursday. GOL/ETF

DATA AHEAD (GMT)0145 China Caixin MFG PMI final (FEB)0930 UK BOE consumer credit (JAN)0930 UK Markit/CIPS MFG PMI (FEB)1445 U.S. Markit MFG PMI final (FEB) 1500 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI (FEB)2030 U.S. Total vehicle sales (FEB) 0115 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to address theCitizens Budget Commission 87th Annual Awards Dinner. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing byRichard Pullin) ((Sathya.Narayanan@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 651 8485832, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3226/1298; Reuters Messaging:sathya.narayanan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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