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PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge lower on firmer dollar ahead of Fed meet

March 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched lower early Monday as the dollar remained supported, with investors expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at this week's policy meeting.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,310.31 per ounce at 0123 GMT. The price touched $1,309.31, the lowest since March 1, in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,310.4 per ounce.

* The dollar index against a basket of currencies was up 0.1 percent at 90.295.

* Asian share markets got off to a hesitant start on Monday for a week in which the Fed is likely to deliver a hike in U.S. interest rates and perhaps signal that as many as three more lie in store for the rest of the year.

* The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting begins on Tuesday at which the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year.

* U.S. industrial production jumped 1.1 percent in February, the largest increase in four months, due to a weather-related rebound in construction and a rise in output from the nation's oil and gas fields and mines.

* Forty-five U.S. trade associations representing some of the largest companies in the country are urging President Donald Trump not to impose tariffs on China, warning it would be "particularly harmful" to the U.S. economy and consumers.

* French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday pledged to overcome differences in order to formulate a roadmap for a reform of the euro zone which they will seek to get approved by their European peers in June.

* Three European Central Bank policymakers struck an optimistic tone on the outlook for euro zone inflation on Sunday despite stubbornly slow price growth so far this year.

* Gold speculators cut their net long position by 16,153 contracts to 145,659 contracts, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.

* Weaker demand in India prompted gold dealers to offer discounts for a second straight week, as a drop in local prices to 2-week lows and a festival failed to lure buyers.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China House prices Feb 1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade Jan

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