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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies on economic concerns; strong dollar caps gains

Arijit Bose

* SPDR gold holdings fell to 737.34 tonnes on Tuesday

* Dollar gaining preference as safe-haven over gold - analyst (Adds details, comments and updates prices)

May 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Wednesday, as global economic concerns dented risk appetite but a strong dollar capped gains as it competed to get preference over bullion as a safe-haven bet.

Spot gold edged 0.1% higher to $1,279.76 per ounce, as of 0337 GMT. In the previous session, the metal had slipped from Monday's 1-week peak of $1,287.32 but bounced off a support at around $1,275.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,279.20 an ounce.

Safe-haven assets were seen in demand while Asian shares stumbled on Wednesday as investors fretted over the outlook for world growth amid continued U.S.-China trade tensions.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday he was "not ready to make a deal with China," which came as a fresh blow to hopes of a resolution in the trade war between the two largest economies in the world.

"While we are seeing some safe-haven buying of gold, it has certainly been muted. The dollar is gaining preference as a safe-haven asset here," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.

Despite U.S. 10-year Treasury yields being at their lowest since September 2017, the dollar has managed to maintain its composure as investors flocked towards the U.S. currency on fears that the Sino-U.S. trade war may aggravate.

The Trump administration also said on Tuesday that no major trading partner met its currency manipulation criteria but nine countries, including China, required close attention as Washington presses tariffs and negotiations to address trade deficits.

The dollar is now mimicking its characteristics from last year when its continued strength pressured bullion since the start of retaliatory tariff impositions by the two greatest economies in the world.

"Wider global interest rate differentials between the U.S. dollar and G-6 currencies have further bolstered the U.S. dollar strength whilst extending marked pressure on gold in lieu of its status as a non-interest bearing asset," a Phillip Futures note said.

"The yellow metal looks poised to deliver for range-bound conditions as traders pivot between a strong dollar and existing market risks."

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, which is a gauge of investor interest in the metal, fell 0.2% to 737.34 tonnes on Tuesday from Friday.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium was up 0.5% at $1,343 an ounce.

Silver gained 0.2% to $14.37 an ounce, having hit its lowest since Dec. 3 at $14.25 in the previous session, while platinum rose 0.3% to $798.23. (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin and Rashmi Aich)