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Gold stuck near 3-month low as dollar strength weighs

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Gold hovered near its lowest in over three months on Wednesday, hurt by consecutive losses in the last seven sessions as a robust dollar and expectations of higher US interest rates curbed appetite for the metal.

[SINGAPORE] Gold hovered near its lowest in over three months on Wednesday, hurt by consecutive losses in the last seven sessions as a robust dollar and expectations of higher US interest rates curbed appetite for the metal.

Spot gold had ticked up slightly to US$1,163.15 an ounce by 0042 GMT, after dropping 4 percent in the seven sessions to Tuesday.

The metal slumped to US$1,155.60 in the previous session, its lowest since Dec 1.

Bullion has taken a hit from stronger-than-expected US nonfarm payrolls data that renewed expectations the Federal Reserve would begin to increase interest rates in June.

Higher rates could dent demand for assets that do not pay interest such as gold, and boost the dollar.

The US dollar hit a near 12-year peak against the euro and touched its highest level against the Japanese yen in nearly eight years on Tuesday, buoyed by the European Central Bank's bond-buying programme, as well as expectations for a mid-year rate hike.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, hit its highest since September 2003.

Other precious metals have also taken a hit along with gold. Platinum slumped to its lowest since July 2009 on Tuesday, while silver fell to a two-month low in the same session.

US-based gold miner Allied Nevada Gold Corp filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, buckling under a heavy debt load amid weaker metal prices.

Venezuela's central bank is in talks with Wall Street banks to create a gold swap that would allow it to monetize some US$1.5 billion of the metal held as international reserves, according to government sources familiar with the operation.

The platinum market is expected to be in deficit of 235,000 ounces this year, a report by the World Platinum Investment Council estimated on Wednesday, down 66 per cent from 2014 levels, on stronger mining and recycling supply growth.

The benchmark S&P 500 stock index tumbled to close at its lowest in more than a month on Tuesday. Concerns over Greece added to the bearish mood on Wall Street, as technical negotiations intended to prevent Greece going bankrupt will start on Wednesday.

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