PRECIOUS-Gold inches up on weaker dlr, headed for 3rd weekly gain
SINGAPORE, July 26 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Friday and was headed for its third straight weekly gain, helped by a weaker dollar and hopes of a prolonged period of easy monetary policy.
* Spot gold had climbed 0.07 percent to $1,333.95 an ounce by 0014 GMT, after gaining about 1 percent in the previous session.
* U.S. data showed that new claims for jobless benefits edged higher last week, but remained within a range that suggests the labour market's recovery is on track.
* Investors fear that strong U.S. economic numbers would prompt the Federal Reserve to start tapering its stimulus measures sooner rather than later.
* China's gold demand could hit a record 1,000 tonnes this year, the World Gold Council said on Thursday, which means it would overtake India as the world's biggest bullion consumer.
* Gold premiums in India jumped to $20 an ounce over London spot prices on Thursday due to short supplies even as traders, looking to stock up for festivals, waited for prices to fall further from their highest level in more than a month.
* Gold mining companies are expected to cut their gold hedging position by 20 tonnes on a net basis in 2013 even though the price of bullion has fallen sharply, precious metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS said on Thursday.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.26 percent to 927.36 tonnes on Thursday.
* Goldcorp Inc, the world's largest gold miner by market capitalisation, posted weaker-than-expected second quarter results on Thursday, hit by a sharp drop in the gold price and a $2 billion non-cash impairment charge.
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* The dollar languished at one-month lows against a basket of major currencies on Friday, having suffered a setback overnight as investors turned cautious ahead of next week's Fed policy meeting. 1/8USD/
DATA/EVENTS 0600 Germany Import prices 0645 France Consumer confidence
Precious metals prices 0014 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1333.95 0.91 +0.07 -20.34 Spot Silver 20.26 0.05 +0.25 -33.09 Spot Platinum 1447.50 1.50 +0.10 -5.70 Spot Palladium 738.00 1.00 +0.14 6.65 COMEX GOLD AUG3 1333.80 5.00 +0.38 -20.41 1646 COMEX SILVER SEP3 20.25 0.09 +0.45 -33.20 510 Euro/Dollar 1.3275 Dollar/Yen 99.15
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford)