Gold hits one-and-a-half week low as dollar keeps strength

Gold slipped to a 1-1/2-week low on Tuesday, extending steep losses from the prior session as the dollar remained strong, curbing appetite for the precious metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was off 0.3 percent at $1,260.31 an ounce by 0037 GMT, after hitting an early low of $1,259.51, its weakest since April 28. Bullion fell 1.9 percent on Monday, its sharpest single-day drop since March 23.

* Tuesday marked gold's sixth fall out of seven sessions, having failed to hold above the $1,300 resistance, and not benefitting much from data last week showing that the US economy added the fewest jobs in seven months in April.

* Gold is still up 19 percent this year as expectations for a near-term increase in US interest rates has faded.

* US gold for June delivery GCcv1 slipped 0.3 percent to $1,262.40 an ounce.

* Indians bought a third less gold than last year during the annual Hindu and Jain holy festival of Akshaya Tritiya on Monday, industry officials estimate, as droughts have hit the earnings of millions of farmers and the metal's price rallied.

* Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) will resume construction work at a stalled Greek gold mine project after it received approval by Greek authorities.

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MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares got off to a weak start, pressured by weaker crude oil prices, though Japanese shares got a tailwind as the dollar stood tall against the yen. [MKTS/GLOB]

* The dollar drifted to its highest in nearly two weeks against major currencies .DXY while the yen nursed broad losses after showing its biggest one-day fall in more than two weeks on Monday.