PRECIOUS-Gold slips to 2-wk lows as rallying equities boost risk appetite

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 26, 2017 07:00 hrs

April 26 (Reuters) - Gold dipped on Wednesday to a two-week low after a near 1 percent decline in the previous session as increased investor appetite for risk boosted equities and dulled demand for safe-haven assets. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,261.36 per ounce by 0055 GMT. Prices touched a low of 1,260.90 earlier in the session, the lowest since April 11. * Bullion fell 0.9 percent on Tuesday, the biggest one-day decline since early March. * U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,262.90 an ounce. * Asian stocks extended gains for a fifth straight day on Wednesday as Wall Street hit new peaks. * The Nasdaq Composite hit a record high on Tuesday, while the Dow and S&P 500 brushed against recent peaks as strong earnings underscored the health of corporate America. * The U.S. military started moving parts of the controversial THAAD anti-missile defence system to a deployment site in South Korea on Wednesday amid high tensions over North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes. * U.S. consumer confidence fell from a more than 16-year high in April, but a surge in new home sales to an eight-month high last month suggested underlying strength in the economy. * The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend appeared to recede on Tuesday after President Donald Trump backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill. * Goldman Sachs, in a note on Monday, said it continues to expect gold to come under pressure in the near term on a potential rally in real interest rates following the expected unveiling of President Trump's tax policies on Wednesday or later. * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.69 percent to 854.25 tonnes on Tuesday. * China's net-gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong more than doubled month-on-month in March, data showed on Tuesday. * Baiyin Nonferrous Group Co Ltd said its unit Gold One Group Ltd plans to invest up to $200 million to South Africa's Sibanye Gold Ltd , while Sibanye's shareholders a $2.2 billion buyout of U.S.-based Stillwater Mining . * Barrick Gold gave details on Tuesday of $500 million worth of improvements and expansions it is planning at its Veladero mine in Argentina over the next five years. * The price of silver will likely climb in 2017 and over the next several years, following through on 2016's gains on renewed investor interest in precious metals, CPM Group said on Tuesday. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0645 France Consumer confidence April (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)