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Gold around $1,200 on lower dollar; Swiss vote eyed

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Gold edged up to around $1,200 an ounce on Tuesday after better-than-expected U.S. economic growth data boosted the dollar only briefly and as the market looked to a Swiss referendum on central bank gold reserves for more trading cues.

A right-wing Swiss party called the Nov. 30 vote, aiming to prevent the Swiss National Bank from offloading its gold holdings and obliging it to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold, compared with 8 percent last month.

While opinion polls showed that support among Swiss voters for the initiative was fading, a 'yes' vote could boost prices in the longer term, traders said. The spot gold price fell to a 4-1/2-year low earlier this month.

"The polls indicate that a 'yes' vote is unlikely ... however, if it happens, we could see a short-lived reaction in the price of gold, but it's not like other central banks will follow, because it wasn't a central bank decision," Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah said.

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Spot gold was flat at $1,198 an ounce, not far from a three-week high of $1,207.70 reached on Friday after a surprise rate cut in top consumer China.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 percent to around $1,196 an ounce.

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The dollar index was little changed on the day after a rebound in the euro knocked it down from a 4-1/2-year high.

Traders reacted to the better-than-expected third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product data, which was expected to show a downward revision, by pushing bullion lower.

The robust data lifted the dollar and hurt gold by stoking fears the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner rather than later. Bullion is a non-interest-bearing asset.

Bullion prices were also supported by news that China's net gold imports from main conduit Hong Kong rose to 77.628 tonnes in October from 68.641 tonnes in September, as the world's biggest consumer saw strong demand for jewellery and bars.

Among other precious metals, platinum gained 1.5 percent to $1,215.50 an ounce. Silver rose 1.4 percent to $16.67 an ounce, and palladium also ticked 0.5 percent higher to $791.22 an ounce.