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Gold, silver becalmed as U.S. inflation
data looms

* Gold, silver flatten ahead of U.S. inflation data
* Expectations of easing inflation take shine off precious
metals run

SYDNEY, May 13 (Reuters) - Gold surrendered early gains to
trade nearly flat on Friday as the dollar perked up and
expectations mounted that U.S. inflationary pressures eased in
April.        
Silver was also stationary after bouncing off a sharp fall
overnight that shaved nearly 3 percent off the price at one
point.        
Headline consumer price index data out later on Friday is
expected to show a more subdued rise of 0.4 percent versus 0.5
percent in March, according to a Reuters poll , reducing
gold's appeal among investors seeking an inflation hedge.        
"Any signs that inflation was easing will weigh on gold
today," a metals trader in Sydney said.        
Other signs have emerged to suggest gold and sliver were
losing more shine with investors.        
Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund
(ETF), New York's SPDR Gold Trust , dipped 0.66 percent
from Wednesday to Thursday, while the largest silver-backed ETF,
New York's iShares Silver Trust , fell 0.23 percent for the
same period.        
ETF Securities silver funds (ex-U.S.) also fell 5.55 percent
on Thursday from Tuesday.         
Gold was showing a similar trading pattern to that of base
metals, with London Metal Exchange copper futures
turning up before the data is released.         
"Gold lost some ground too as the dollar picked up steam but
still managed to stay positive," the trader said.        
The U.S. dollar was now on track to post a second week of
gains, according to foreign exchange dealers. The dollar index,
which measures the dollar's value against a basket of
currencies, edged 0.09 percent higher to 75.311. The index had
hit a three-week high of 75.645 on Thursday.



Gold so far this week has traded in a range of nearly $50,
touching a low of $1,478.80 on Monday and a peak of $1,526.30 on
Wednesday.         
By 0502 GMT, spot gold was fetching $1,503.55 an
ounce versus the overnight closing bid of $1,502.35, according
to Reuters data. U.S. gold futures GCv1 were down $3 to
$1,503.80 an ounce.          
Spot silver shed 42 cents to $34.26 an ounce. COMEX
silver SIcv1 was down 1.3 percent to $34.36 an ounce.
Comments by European Central Bank Executive Board member
Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell that Greece would get its financial
woes under control with the help of other euro zone members
further tarnished gold's safe harbour appeal.      
Technical analysis points to price support for silver at
between $31.95 and $32.35 an ounce, potentially corralling
silver trades between $32 and $39 an ounce.        
If support is clearly broken, it opens a window for a
subsequent move down in silver to $26.51 an ounce.

Precious metals prices 0507 GMT                    
Metal             Last    Change Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume        
Spot Gold        1502.89    0.54  +0.04      5.88                
Spot Silver        34.15   -0.45  -1.30     10.66                
Spot Platinum    1766.99   4.84   +0.27     -0.03                
Spot Palladium    711.73    0.83   +0.12    -10.98                
TOCOM Gold       3903.00   -7.00  -0.18      4.67        54149        
TOCOM Platinum   4628.00 -25.00   -0.54     -1.45        10535        
TOCOM Silver       88.50  -1.30   -1.45      9.26         4298        
TOCOM Palladium  1862.00  -3.00   -0.16    -11.21          235        
COMEX GOLD JUN1  1503.10  -3.70   -0.25      5.75         8698        
COMEX SILVER JUL1  34.18  -0.62   -1.79     10.46         6665        
Euro/Dollar       1.4204                        
Dollar/Yen         80.52                        
   
TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce.            
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months