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PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up, head for second weekly gain

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices stayed on track for a second straight weekly gain early on Friday as they crept up on a weaker dollar, although trading remained in a tight range amid expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike next month.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had climbed 0.1 percent to $1,279.21 per ounce by 0104 GMT. It is up about 0.3 percent for the week.

* U.S. gold futures for December delivery edged up 0.1 percent to $1,279.21.

* The dollar index , which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, slipped 0.2 percent.

* Republican U.S. lawmakers on Thursday took an important step toward the biggest tax code overhaul since the 1980s as the House of Representatives approved a broad package of tax cuts sought by President Donald Trump.

* U.S. industrial production recorded its biggest increase in six months in October as the drag from hurricane-related disruptions unwound, but the underlying growth trend in output at the nation's factories, mines and utility plants remained moderate.

* Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan on Thursday repeated that he is "very open-minded and actively thinking about" a possible interest-rate hike at the U.S. central bank's next policy meeting.

* San Francisco Fed President John Williams reiterated his view on Thursday that the U.S. economy is growing strongly enough for the Fed to continue raising rates gradually over the next couple of years to around 2.5 percent.

* Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Thursday she feels inflation is poised to pick up, clearing the way for the Fed to continue its gradual process of raising interest rates.

* The Bank of England will probably need to raise interest rates a couple more times over the next few years if Britain's economy develops as expected, Governor Mark Carney was quoted as saying on Thursday, echoing guidance the BoE has given previously.

* Asian shares rose on Friday as strong U.S. earnings and the step forward in the U.S. Congress on tax reform brightened the mood, even though investors noted that many more hurdles must be passed to reach a final deal on tax cuts.

* U.S. Treasury two-year yields hit a nine-year high on Thursday as risk appetite recovered globally.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0900 Euro zone current account Sep

1330 U.S. Housing starts Oct 1330 U.S. Building permits Oct

(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)