April 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Thursday as a weaker dollar boosted the safe-haven metal's appeal, while investors awaited the release of weekly jobless claims and March retail sales data in the United States later in the day. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,738.96 per ounce by 0121 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% to $1,737.90 per ounce. * The dollar held near a three-week low against a basket of currencies on Thursday, as U.S. bond yields levelled off following a surge last month. * A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for buyers outside the United States. * Further supporting bullion, major global stock indexes also slipped. * The U.S. economy accelerated into the spring on the basis of rising consumer sentiment, according to the Federal Reserve, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the country is on track for faster growth and hiring in the coming months. * The eurozone economy, however, is now relying on the "two crutches" of monetary and fiscal stimulus, which cannot be removed until the economy recovers completely, according to European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. * U.S. import prices rose more than anticipated in March, boosted by higher fuel rates and tight supply chains. * A U.S. health panel called for more data before making a decision on whether to resume Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. * Silver rose 0.5% to $25.53 and palladium was up 0.3% at $2,683.51. Platinum gained 0.5% to $1,176.05. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 Australia Employment March 0130 Australia Unemployment Rate March 0600 Germany HICP Final YY March 0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Final MM, YY March 1000 EU Reserve Assets Total March 1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly 1230 US Philly Fed Business Indx April 1230 US Retail Sales MM March 1315 US Industrial Production MM March (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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