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PRECIOUS-Gold under pressure as dollar turns positive

* Investors await clues on pace of U.S. monetary tightening

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings fell to 786.87 tonnes on Monday

* Platinum hits over three month high

(Updates prices, graphic) JOHANNESBURG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Gold pared its gains on Tuesday after the U.S. dollar turned positive as investors awaited U.S. inflation figures later this week for further clues about the pace of interest rate rises.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,253.70 per ounce

at 1445 GMT.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,259.6 per

ounce. "Ahead of the U.S. inflation numbers gold will likely trade sideways until there's more direction," said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at FOREX.com. Inflation is a key economic factor the U.S. central bank considers when deciding monetary policy. A strong U.S. inflation reading could raise expectations for future interest rate increases, which would put pressure on non-yielding bullion.

The dollar index was 0.4 percent higher against a

basket of major currencies. A stronger dollar increases the cost for buyers of commodities such as gold who are outside the United States. Investors were also awaiting clues as to when the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin reducing its $4.2 trillion bond portfolio. "Given the move towards tighter monetary policy ... the developing bullish chart picture may be a warning that investors are buying more gold as an insurance against heightened risk of trouble ahead," ScotiaBank analysts said in a note. World stocks touched a new high on Tuesday despite weaker than expected Chinese trade data. A higher appetite for riskier assets such as stocks usually saps demand for safe-haven gold.

Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest

gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to 786.87 tonnes on Monday.

In other precious metals, silver inched up 0.4

percent to $16.30 per ounce.

Platinum was 0.7 percent higher at $970.50 per ounce,

after touching its highest since April 21 at $978.10.

Palladium rose 0.7 percent to $892.47 per ounce.

"Platinum is being supported by strong fundamentals as supply in comparison to demand is a little weak," said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank.

(Additional reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by David Clarke)