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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as Evergrande fears sour risk appetite, dollar slips
Published at 24/09/2021 at 13:03

* European shares fall on Evergrande fears

* Platinum heads for weekly gain

* Investors may rush to dollar at gold's expense - analyst

(Updates prices)

By Arundhati Sarkar

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Gold rebounded on Friday after a 1% drop in the last session, supported by a softer dollar and as concerns over the fate of China's Evergrande returned to the fore, burnishing bullion's safe-haven status.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,750.90 per ounce by 1152 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were 0.2% higher at $1,752.40.

Helping bullion by making it cheaper for those holding other currencies, the dollar index lingered near a one-week low hit in the previous session.

This was in contrast to Thursday, when gold fell to a more than one-month low as heightened Fed rate hike bets largely overshadowed a retreat in the dollar -- an unusual occurrence.

Gold is taking support from a weaker dollar, with the warning from China to local authorities over a possible collapse of Evergrande serving as "another reminder that the risk still prevails," said Quantitative Commodity Research Analyst Peter Fertig.

But prospects of rate hikes from several central banks are "a negative mix for gold," Fertig added.

Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which pays no interest.

Gold also competes with the dollar as a safe store of value during financial or political uncertainties.

But while the uncertainty may accelerate a flight to safety, investors may rush towards the dollar at gold's expense, said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga said.

"Despite the caution and tension this week, gold has gained a paltry 0.1%. This performance suggests gold may be concerned with other themes ranging from the Fed's tapering and rate hike expectations."

Elsewhere, palladium rose 0.3% to $1,989.33, but was on track for a third straight weekly decline.

Platinum slipped 1.1% to $978.00. The metal, however, was set to break two-consecutive weeks of decline.

Silver climbed 0.3% to $22.54.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely, Kirsten Donovan)

((Arundhati.Sarkar@thomsonreuters.com; twitter.com/Arundhati_05; +1 646 223 8780 Ext: 2776))