PRECIOUS-Gold gains on weaker dollar ahead of U.S. inflation data

* U.S. inflation data due on Wednesday

* Dollar index extends fall from prev session

(Updates with latest prices) Feb 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit a near one-week high on Tuesday, helped by a weaker dollar and as investors awaited U.S. inflation data for clues on the pace of interest rate hikes.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,327.81 an ounce,

as of 0731 GMT. Earlier, it hit the highest since Feb. 7 at $1,328.03. On Monday, the yellow metal rose 0.5 percent, its biggest single-day percentage gain in more than one week.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,330 per

ounce. "We suspect that gold has pretty much decoupled from equities for much of the last week and is instead tracking the dollar's ups and downs more closely," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

The dollar index , which tracks the greenback against

a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.4 percent at 89.9, its biggest one-day percentage drop since Feb. 1. Meanwhile, Asian stocks pulled further away from two-month lows on Tuesday, lifted by Wall Street's extended rebound from last week's steep fall. "Gold held up better than stock markets last week... Relative to stocks, gold looks to be good in value and continued volatility in the equity markets might make gold more attractive for its lower volatility," analysts at Heraeus Precious Metals said in a note. "So far, gold investors have been largely unconcerned. While demand for investment bars increased slightly, ETFs posted outflows with total holdings falling."

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the largest gold-backed

exchange-traded-fund (ETF), fell 2.5 percent last week, the worst since the week ended July 30. Meanwhile, investors waited for U.S. January inflation data, which is due on Wednesday. Inflation expectations edged lower last month, dulling a year-end rise, according to a survey published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday. Inflation worries generally boost gold, which is seen as a safe haven against rising prices. But expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates to fight inflation make gold less attractive because it is not interest-yielding.

In other precious metals, silver gained 0.4 percent to $16.61 per ounce, platinum rose 0.1 percent to $971.5 per ounce and palladium dipped 0.3 percent to $981.45 per


(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Biju Dwarakanath)