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PRECIOUS-Gold eyes second straight weekly fall as U.S. yields gain
Published at 26/02/2021 at 01:25

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit their lowest in a week on Friday and headed for a second straight weekly decline as higher U.S. Treasury yields sapped the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was steady at $1,770.15 per ounce by 0046 GMT, having earlier fallen to its lowest since Feb. 19 at $1,764.90. Prices were down 0.6% for the week so far.

* U.S. gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,767.10.

* Gold dropped 1.9% on Thursday as rising economic expectations and inflation concerns vaulted benchmark U.S. Treasury yields to their highest since the pandemic began, helping lift the dollar.

* Higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

* Federal Reserve policymakers are shrugging off the surge in longer-term U.S. government bond yields as a sign of growing optimism about the economy, which could pick up steam as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19.

* U.S. jobless claims fell last week, suggesting the labor market was slowly regaining traction.

* Robust fiscal support and vaccinations could lead the United States to its strongest growth in decades, New York Fed President John Williams said on Thursday.

* China's net gold imports via Hong Kong fell in January as COVID-19-related restrictions reduced demand in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday.

* Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust fell 0.6% on Thursday.

* Silver gained 0.3% to $27.49 an ounce, while palladium was steady at $2,400.43. Platinum rose 0.1% to $1,217.93 and was set to mark its worst week since end-October with a 4.4% decline.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0745 France GDP QQ Final Q4 0745 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY Feb 1200 India GDP Quarterly YY Q3 1330 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Jan 1500 US U Mich Sentiment Final Feb

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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