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PRECIOUS-Gold steady, firm dollar offsets recession support

    May 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Wednesday as a
rising dollar offset support for the metal from easing equities
and growing concerns of a global recession.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,743.99 per ounce by
0030 GMT, having gained 0.7% in the previous session on
recession fears. U.S. gold futures        rose 0.2% to
$1,748.50.
    * The dollar        gained about 0.2% against key rivals,
making gold costlier for investors using other currencies, while
Asian equities were likely to come under pressure.
                  
    * The U.S. economy should bounce back sharply in the third
quarter after its deep coronavirus-related collapse, but it will
not fully recover its lost ground until sometime after next
year, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said.
            
    * U.S. homebuilding dropped by the most on record in April
and permits for future construction tumbled, underlining fears
that the coronavirus crisis would lead to the deepest economic
contraction in the second quarter since the Great Depression.
            
    * Gold is seen as an alternative asset during times of
economic and political uncertainties.
    * The slump in Japanese business confidence deepened in May,
hitting decade lows as firms braced for a protracted period of
coronavirus-driven economic weakness, the Reuters Tankan survey
showed.             
    * The global palladium market will see its smallest deficit
since at least 2012 this year, while the platinum market remains
significantly oversupplied, an industry report said.
            
    * Palladium        fell 1.4% to $2,029.50 per ounce and
silver        eased 0.1% to $17.38, while platinum        gained
0.4% to $836.01.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600 UK   CPI YY                    April
0900 EU   HICP Final MM, YY         April
1400 EU   Consumer Confid. Flash    May
1800 U.S. Federal Open Market Committee will release 
the minutes of its April 28 - 29 policy meeting 

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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