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PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up amid North Korea concerns

Sept 22 (Reuters) - Gold edged up from a four-week low on Friday as the latest twist in tensions between the United States and North Korea prompted investors to seek out the safe-haven asset.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,293.70 an ounce at 0042 GMT, after marking its lowest since Aug. 25 at $1287.61 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up 0.1 percent at $1,296.60 an ounce.

* The dollar on Friday eased versus the yen and

against a basket of six major currencies .

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions against North Korea on Thursday and Pyongyang's leader defiantly vowed to persist with its nuclear and missile programmes and said it would consider measures against the United States.

* North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un said in a rare statement on Friday the North will consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" the North.

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, but the near-term outlook for the labour market was muddied by the continuing impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

* Euro zone economic growth is gaining momentum and the rapid fall in the unemployment rate is encouraging but inflation has yet to show convincing signs of a sustained upward trend, requiring continued stimulus, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

* Monetary policy is not the right instrument to address financial imbalances in the euro zone and macroprudential tools must be used to tackle local issues, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

* The BOJ held monetary settings steady at a policy review on Thursday and asked markets to have faith that inflation will hit its elusive 2 percent goal.

* China's central bank has told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea, four sources told Reuters, amid U.S. concerns that Beijing has not been tough enough over Pyongyang's repeated nuclear tests.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.73 percent to 852.24 tonnes on Thursday from 846.03 tonnes on Wednesday.

* ICE Benchmark Administration, a unit of Intercontinental

Exchange (ICE) , will take over as operator of London's

silver benchmark on Oct. 2, a week later than planned, the bourse said on Thursday.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0645 France GDP final Q2 0700 France Markit manufacturing PMI flash Sep 0730 Germany Markit manufacturing PMI flash Sep 0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI flash Sep 1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI flash Sep

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