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Sterling steadies ahead of GDP data

* Graphic: sterling and gilt yields http://bit.ly/2dgAXn1

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote http://tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Sterling steadied just above $1.30 on Wednesday, as traders looked to premilinary GDP data for the second quarter for signs of whether the British economy is building enough momentum to allow for monetary tightening in the coming months.

The pound had risen to its strongest levels in ten months against the dollar in recent weeks, as a series of hawkish comments from Bank of England officials drove expectations that interest rates could be hiked soon, perhaps before the end of the year.

But poor economic data has driven investors to push those expectations back again, and analysts have said that it is mainly the broad weakness of the dollar that is keeping sterling above $1.30.

By 0750 it was broadly flat on the day at $1.3018, ahead of GDP data due at 0830 GMT that is expected to show 1.7 percent year-on-year growth.

"Bank of England Governor Carney has made it very clear in recent speeches that MPC (monetary policy committee) deliberations...center on assessing the potential trade-off between slowing consumer spending and other areas of the economy strengthening to offset that consumption weakness," wrote MUFG analysts in a morning note to clients.

Data on Tuesday showed British factories increased output at the fastest rate since the mid-1990s over the past three months, suggesting manufacturing might help to support the economy as it slows during 2017.

"(That data) will certainly help to strengthen the BoEs belief that other elements of the economy are at least potentially evolving to help in offsetting a consumer spending slowdown," they added.

Analysts mostly say that developments around Brexit will continue to be the main driver for the pound, which has fallen almost 14 percent against the dollar since last June's referendum. (Editing by Keith Weir)