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PRECIOUS-Gold falls 1% on rise in yields, early Fed rate hike fears
Published at 23/09/2021 at 19:29

* Platinum, palladium ease after recovery

* Path of least resistance for gold is down - analyst

* Fed says will likely begin tapering by as soon as November

(Adds comment, updates prices)

By Bharat Gautam

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Gold fell 1% on Thursday, pressured by an uptick in treasury yields and an appetite for riskier assets, as investors continued to position themselves for a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Spot gold declined 0.9% to $1,751.56 per ounce by 1811 GMT and U.S. gold futures settled 1.6% lower at $1,749.80.

"We have seen yields rise, especially real rates, and that's dragging gold lower," said TD Securities' commodity strategist Daniel Ghali.

The U.S. central bank said on Wednesday it will likely begin reducing its bond purchases as soon as November and signalled interest rate increases may follow more quickly than expected.

A Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

The Fed's comments outweighed any likely support from an unexpected rise in U.S. weekly jobless claims, and the path of least resistance now for gold is down, said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Also pressuring safe-haven assets, global equities advanced, helped by fading concerns over China's cash-strapped property developer Evergrande.

Bullion found little support from a retreat in the dollar, which usually buoys demand for gold since it makes the metal cheaper for those holding other currencies and as it competes with the precious metal as a safe-haven asset.

"Gold positioning is actually fairly clean so we don't expect this weakness to morph into a rout," TD Securities' Ghali said.

"On the contrary, gold is going to remain range bound in the same range that has prevailed over the last few weeks and months."

Platinum edged 0.1% lower to $996.30 per ounce, while palladium shed 1.5% at $1,992.98, after a two sessions of gains.

Silver fell 0.2% to $22.62.

(Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

((BharatGovind.Gautam@thomsonreuters.com; +91-80-6182-3021/ 3590 (If within U.S. call 651-848-5832 );))