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PRECIOUS-Gold prices flat as dollar dips on Trump's tariff decision

March 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices held little changed near two-month lows on Friday, as the dollar eased after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was flat at $1,316.13 an ounce at 0124 GMT. Prices fell to their lowest since Jan. 2 to $1,302.61 in the previous session, under pressure from expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.9 percent at $1,317.1 per ounce.

* The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 90.252.

* The index shed 0.4 percent overnight after Trump announced plans to impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers, sparking fears of an imminent trade war.

* Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

* Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday the U.S. economy does not appear to be running hot, even as the influential head of the New York Fed suggested a faster pace of interest rate increases may still be in the offing for 2018.

* Traders of U.S. short-term interest-rate futures on Thursday pared bets the Fed will deliver a fourth rate hike this year after the U.S. President said he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

* International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she saw positive and negative effects from a "complicated" U.S. tax overhaul, including a near-term growth bump that risks overheating the U.S. economy and a problematic rise in debt.

* The Perth Mint's sales of gold and silver products fell in February for the first time in three months, the mint said in a blog post on its website on Thursday.

* SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.35 percent to 833.98 tonnes on Thursday from 831.03 tonnes on Wednesday.

* Physical gold demand in most Asian hubs gained ground this week due to a fall in prices and as activity picked up following regional holidays, although a good portion of consumers in India held off purchases, hoping for a steeper dip in rates.

DATA AHEAD (IN GMT)

0700 Germany Import prices Jan 0700 Germany Retail sales Jan 1000 Euro zone Producer prices Jan 1345 U.S. ISM-New York index Feb

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)