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PRECIOUS-Gold edges away from 7-week high as dollar steadies

* Silver hits highest in nearly 5 weeks

* Spot gold may break support at $1,264/oz -technicals

(Adds comment, updates prices) Aug 2 - Gold edged lower on Wednesday as the dollar firmed and as investors took profits after downbeat U.S. data propelled prices to a seven-week high in the previous session. "At the moment, the upside looks a little bit limited. We're seeing obviously some increase ... in net long-positioning in the market, but we're seeing some selling come through on the ETF side as well," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes, referring to exchange traded funds. "So it's going to be difficult for gold to break out of (its) range for the next week or two."

Spot gold had fallen 0.3 percent to $1,264.88 per

ounce by 0411 GMT. The day before, it hit its highest since June 14 at $1,273.97.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.6

percent to $1,271.70 per ounce. A gauge of U.S. factory activity slid from a near three-year high in July amid a slowdown in new orders, and consumer spending barely rose in the prior month, setting the stage for a moderate economic expansion in the third quarter.

"I think investors are probably looking for some further evidence of stronger inflation numbers before they get a little bit more optimistic about a rate hike, which would clearly be a headwind for gold prices if the probability of that starts to rise," Hynes said. The dollar clung to modest gains on Wednesday after bouncing from 15-month lows, benefiting from a pause in selling of the battered currency as investors begin positioning for key events this week, notably Friday's U.S. employment report. For potential impact on the dollar, the market was waiting for the U.S. ADP jobs report and comments by San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Cleveland Fed chief Loretta Mester due later in the session. "Upcoming key technical levels for the USD with regards to both DXY and currency majors, in particular the euro, are likely to dictate price action over the short term," MKS PAMP trader Sam Laughlin said in a note on Tuesday. "All eyes will turn to these levels for precious direction." Spot gold may break support at $1,264 per ounce and fall to the next support level at $1,258, as suggested by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci retracement analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Meanwhile, silver slipped 0.6 percent to $16.60 per

ounce. It touched its highest since June 29 earlier in the session.

Platinum edged down 0.2 percent to $942.30 per ounce,

after rising to its highest in seven weeks earlier in the day.

Palladium drifted 0.3 percent lower to $889.25 per

ounce. In the previous session, it marked its highest since June 13.

(Reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)