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PRECIOUS-Gold remains below $1,300 on easing Ukraine concerns

SINGAPORE, May 8 (Reuters) - Gold was trading below $1,300 an ounce on Thursday, steadying at weaker levels after a fall of more than 1 percent in the previous session, when its safe-haven appeal dimmed on signs of easing tensions in Ukraine.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,290.53 an ounce by 0022 GMT, after losing 1.4 percent on Wednesday. U.S. gold also stabilized after a similar drop overnight.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back from the brink of violent dismemberment.

* In what could be a breakthrough in the worst crisis between East and West since the Cold War, Putin also announced he was pulling Russian troops back from the Ukrainian border.

* A slumping housing market and geopolitical tensions risk undermining the U.S. economy and bear close watching by the Federal Reserve, the central bank's chief said in a testimony to Congress. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the economy was still in need of lots of support given the "considerable slack" in the labour market.

* Kinross Gold Corp reported a sharp drop in first-quarter net earnings due to weaker bullion prices but its production increased and costs edged lower.

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MARKET NEWS

* U.S. stocks mostly rose on Wednesday, adding to their gains in late trading after Fed Chair Yellen indicated continued central bank support for the U.S. economy, while stocks in other regions were flat.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0200 China Trade balance Apr 1230 U.S. Initial jobless claims Weekly 1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI Apr

PRICES AT 0022 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg Spot gold 1290.53 1.59 0.12 Spot silver 19.31 0.01 0.05 Spot platinum 1430.8 2.2 0.15 Spot palladium 796.25 0.75 0.09 Comex gold 1290.7 1.8 0.14 Comex silver 19.33 -0.012 -0.06 Euro 1.3907 DXY 79.252

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)