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PRECIOUS-Gold steady, heads for third weekly fall

BENGALURU, June 23 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Friday above a five-week low touched earlier this week, supported by technicals, but the metal was still on track for a third weekly fall.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,250.70 per ounce at 0053 GMT. It was set for a small weekly fall of about 0.3 percent, having eased about 1 percent in each of two preceding weeks.

* U.S. gold futures for August delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1,251.9 per ounce.

* The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies on Thursday as low U.S. bond yields offset in-line data on domestic jobless claims and home prices, keeping it close to the one-month peak it reached earlier this week.

* Theresa May offered fellow EU leaders a "fair" deal on Thursday for compatriots living in Britain after Brexit, though her peers sounded skeptical and demanded more detail from a prime minister weakened by an electoral misfire two weeks ago.

* Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata on Thursday dismissed the need to raise interest rates any time soon, stressing that the economy still requires support from "powerful" monetary easing, with inflation far from the central bank's 2 percent target.

* The European Central Bank will ignore government complaints about rising borrowing costs when it eventually tightens policy and will not help any particular country, the ECB's chief economist said, according to the German magazine Spiegel.

* The London Metal Exchange is expected to cut trading fees within months after two years of complaints but might only do so for a trial period of up to six months to see if volumes that moved to over-the-counter markets return to the exchange, sources said.

* Sibanye Gold's Cooke mine in South Africa will remain closed until Monday, it said on Thursday.

* Shareholders voted for four new board members at Russian-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk on Thursday, ousting Peter Hambro who has run the company since he founded it in 1994.

* North Korea has carried out another test of a rocket engine that the United States believes could be part of its program to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0645 France Final GDP Q1 0700 France Markit manufacturing flash PMI June 0730 Germany Markit manufacturing flash PMI June

0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing flash PMI June

1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing flash PMI June 1400 U.S. New home sales May

(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)