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PRECIOUS-Gold falls to lowest in nearly 2 weeks, U.S. inflation data in focus

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Gold edged down early on Thursday to hover around its lowest in nearly two weeks, with investors turning their attention to U.S. consumer inflation data later in the day for clues on the timing of further interest rate hikes.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,320.21 an ounce by 0048 GMT, after earlier dropping to its lowest since Sept. 1 at $1,318.96.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 0.3 percent at $1,324.50 an ounce.

* Asian stocks edged down on Thursday, consolidating after ascending a decade-high, while the dollar held steady before the U.S. inflation report for August is published.

* U.S. producer prices rebounded in August, driven by a surge in the cost of gasoline, and there were also signs of a pickup in underlying producer inflation.

* North Korea displayed trademark defiance on Wednesday over new United Nations sanctions imposed after its sixth and largest-ever nuclear test, vowing to redouble efforts to fight off what it said was the threat of a U.S. invasion.

* U.S. President Donald Trump blocked a Chinese-backed private equity firm from buying a U.S.-based chipmaker on Wednesday, sending a clear signal to Beijing that Washington will oppose takeover deals that involve technologies with potential military applications.

* The European Central Bank's chief economist renewed his call on Wednesday for a "steady hand" in conducting the ECB's ultra-easy monetary policy despite a positive growth outlook.

* The Bank of England must decide how forcefully to talk about the prospect of a first interest rate rise in a decade on Thursday when it will weigh up the need to help Britain's Brexit-bound economy against tackling a jump in inflation.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0200 China Industrial output Aug 0200 China Retail sales Aug 0200 China Urban investment Aug

1100 Bank of England announces interest rate decision

1230 U.S. Consumer prices Aug 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)