×

PRECIOUS-Gold snaps three sessions of gains as dollar, equities edge up

* Spot gold may retrace to $1,334/oz -technicals

* Firm U.S. data helps, but lingering trade woes limit USD gains

(Adds comment, updates prices) BENGALURU, April 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Wednesday after rising for three straight sessions as investors opted for riskier assets, with the dollar holding its gains on the back of upbeat U.S. economic data. "There was a general increase in risk appetite, which boosted equities ... Conversely, there was less demand for safe-haven assets such as gold," said John Sharma, an economist with National Australia Bank.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,343.31 per ounce at 0709 GMT, U.S. gold futures for June delivery fell

0.2 percent to $1,346.30 per ounce. Gold prices had surged to $1,365.23 per ounce last week, their highest since Jan. 25, on heightened tensions over Syria and U.S. sanctions on Russia. "Historically, geopolitical tensions have a short-term impact on price movement, but overall it is the economy that determines prices," said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.

The dollar index , which measures the greenback

against a basket of currencies, was up 0.2 percent at 89.657. The index touched a three-week low of 89.229 on Tuesday before pulling back on stronger-than-expected March U.S. housing starts and steady industrial production figures.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced gold costlier for holders of other currencies. Asian shares inched up after Wall Street took heart from upbeat corporate earnings. The gold market has also seen some profit-booking from recent peak levels, said Hareesh V, head of commodity research, Geojit Financial Services. "Currently there has been no significant news update or event from the global point of view, further prompting the mild correction in prices," Hareesh said. Spot gold may retrace to a support level at $1,334 per ounce because it failed to break resistance at $1,350, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Meanwhile, spot silver climbed 0.2 percent to $16.78

per ounce, after touching a one-week high of $16.83 earlier in the session.

Platinum advanced 0.5 percent to $941.10 per ounce.

Prices earlier marked a three-week high of $944.10.

Palladium rose 0.1 percent to $1,010.47 per ounce.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Eric Meijer and Joseph Radford)