PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch lower as strong equities weigh
* Dollar on track for first weekly fall in four weeks
* Silver on track for third week of decline (Updates prices, adds details)
By Sumita Layek
The metal had broken below the key psychological level of$1,300 on Thursday to hit a one-week low due to sharp gains inthe dollar.
"The dollar strength really hurt precious metals and we'reseeing some of that reverse with most currencies running alittle higher versus the dollar," said Chris Gaffney, presidentof world markets at TIAA Bank.
"We've got tame inflation, the trade situation is gettingresolved and Brexit looks like it's going to be pushed down theroad. So right now investors don't have any incentive to buygold," Gaffney added.
U.S. stocks climbed back to near record highs on Fridayafter the largest U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, soothedworries that the first-quarter earnings season would pour coldwater on Wall Street's big rally back from last year's slump. .N
Spot gold XAU= edged 0.1 percent lower to $1,290.71 perounce as of 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT).
U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled 0.1 percent higher at$1,295.2 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the dollar index .DXY was down 0.2 percentagainst a basket of leading currencies and was headed for itsfirst weekly decline in four weeks, keeping gold from fallingfurther. USD/
A further dovish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve andweaker global growth data could propel gold higher, Gaffneysaid, but that for now, it was going to struggle to get backabove the $1,300 level.
Early in the week, bullion received support from increasedbuying by central banks and a dovish view from the EuropeanCentral Bank as well as minutes from the U.S. Fed. Howeverstrong U.S. economic data on Thursday boosted the dollar andtriggered a sell-off in gold.
Data showed weekly U.S. jobless claims fell to the lowest innearly half a century and producer prices increased the most infive months in March.
"Given the marked decline we expect in U.S. equities thisyear, we suspect that safe-haven assets will soon surge,"Capital Economics analysts said in a note.
"We think gold investment should be strong, particularly inthe form of exchange-traded fund buying. As a result, we expectthe price of gold to rally to $1,400 per ounce by end-2019."
Silver XAG= was down 0.1 percent at $14.94 an ounce, butwas on track for its third weekly decline.
Spot platinum XPT= rose 0.1 percent to $888.11 per ounce,but was on track to snap four straight weeks of gains.
Palladium XPD= climbed 0.6 percent to $1,373.02 per ounceand was up 0.3 percent for the week. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Eileen Soreng in BengaluruEditing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; +1-651-848-5832, outsideN.America, +91-80-6749-1638; Reuters Messaging:Sumita.Layek.firstname.lastname@example.org))
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