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PRECIOUS-Gold hits 8-month trough as U.S. Treasury yields rally
Published at 26/02/2021 at 07:40

* Gold down 1.4% for the week, 4.8% for the month so far

* Platinum set for fourth straight monthly gain

* Palladium set to register its best month in three

(Updates prices)

By Sumita Layek

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell to their lowest in eight months on Friday, and were headed for a second straight weekly and monthly decline as brighter economic outlook and inflation fears propped up U.S. Treasury yields.

Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,767.81 per ounce by 0715 GMT, having earlier fallen to its lowest since June 26 at $1,755.45. Prices were down 1.4% for the week and 4.8% for the month so far.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,765.70 on Friday.

Prices had dropped 1.9% on Thursday as benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hit their highest since the pandemic began, lifting the dollar.

"Rising inflation expectations as markets price in the reopening of developed market economies are pushing yields higher and pressuring gold," said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

Higher inflation boosts gold but also lifts Treasury yields, which in turn increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

"The overall picture looks dire, gold is now in danger of a material move lower, if yields rise again," Halley said.

Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , fell 0.6% on Thursday to their lowest since May 2020.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's comment that it is not concerned with rising bond yields has added to gold's misery, Phillip Futures said in a note.

Silver fell 0.7% to $27.19 an ounce, set for biggest weekly fall since mid-Jan with 1.4% decline. Palladium dropped 0.8% to $2,382.02, but was set to register its best month in three with over 6% gain.

Platinum eased 0.1% to $1,215.09 and was set to mark its worst week since end-October with a 5.1% decline, but was on track to gain for a fourth straight month, rising more than 12%.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Vinay Dwivedi)

((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 8061822693; Reuters Messaging: Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))