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Gold ticks up on fund inflows, safe-haven demand

A sales assistant arranges gold necklaces at a store in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, January 23, 2014. REUTERS/China Daily/Files

By A. Ananthalakshmi

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Gold snapped a two-day losing streak on Tuesday as geopolitical tensions and fund inflows boosted the safe-haven metal, but gains were kept in check by strength in equities and the dollar.

Equity markets rose after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said all issues around a humanitarian convoy sent by Moscow to relieve needy areas of eastern Ukraine had been resolved. Moscow said it would like a ceasefire to allow aid to get to people trapped by the fighting.

However, tensions remain high, with Ukraine saying that dozens of people, including women and children, were killed as they fled fighting in eastern Ukraine on Monday when their convoy of buses was hit by rocket fire.

Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,299.35 an ounce by 0332 GMT, after dropping 0.6 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold gained about $1 to $1,300.70.

"Investors appear to believe that a number of tail risks are becoming increasingly less remote and are seeking hedges," Danny Laidler, head of Australia & New Zealand operations at ETF Securities said in an email.

The firm's gold exchange-traded products saw $75.5 million of inflows last week, bringing the trailing four-week total to $282.6 million, the highest since August 2012, Laidler said.

Meanwhile, SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 2.09 tonnes to 797.69 tonnes on Monday, the first inflow in nearly four weeks.

Gold has gained about 8 percent this year, largely because of geopolitical tensions as it is seen as a good alternative to riskier assets.

Spot gold may rebound to $1,307, as it failed to break support at $1,296 per ounce, a Reuters technicals analyst said.

Other precious metals also got a boost.

Silver rose 0.2 percent, moving off a two-month low hit in the previous session, while palladium was not too far from a 13-year high, supported by worries over supplies from top producer Russia and strong demand prospects.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford and Alan Raybould)