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PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of UK poll verdict

BENGALURU, June 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady ahead of the verdict of the UK national election, with early results suggesting no clear winner which could plunge the country into a new bout of political turmoil before Brexit talks. The metal fell 0.6 percent in the previous session after former FBI director James Comey's Congressional testimony was seen as containing no major surprises. FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,279.13 per ounce at 0046 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures for August delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,281.5.

* Sterling sank in Asia on Friday after British elections seemed to have left no single party with a clear claim to power, sideswiping investors who had already weathered major risk events in the United States and Europe.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May spectacularly lost her electoral gamble, according to an exit poll that suggested her Conservatives would fall short of a majority in parliament, throwing her Brexit plans into disarray.

* Former FBI director James Comey accused President Donald Trump on Thursday of firing him to try to undermine its investigation into possible collusion by his campaign team with Russia's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

* The European Central Bank closed the door on more interest rate cuts on Thursday, judging the euro zone economy to be rebounding, but said inflation looks to remain weak for years so it still needs to pump out the cash.

* Two contenders have emerged to run London's silver benchmark - gold benchmark operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which offers a model with clearing, and a flexible auction process proposed by the London Metal Exchange (LME).

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, unwinding half of the prior period's jump and suggesting the labor market was tightening despite a recent slowdown in job growth.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.24 percent to 867.00 tonnes on Thursday.

* Demand for gold in Asia was muted this week as bullion's rebound in prices curbed purchases, with discounts in India widening to the highest in more than five months.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China Consumer prices May 0130 China Producer prices May 0600 Germany Trade balance Apr 0645 France Industrial output Apr 0830 Britain Industrial output Apr 1400 U.S. Wholesale sales Apr

(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)