By Jan Harvey
The precious metal has fallen more than 2 percent this week on gains in the U.S. currency and a rise in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields to seven-year highs. Higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,288.25 an ounce by 1145 GMT, off an earlier 4-1/2 month low of $1,285.41 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for June delivery were down $4.00 at $1,287.50.
The dollar has climbed nearly 4 percent this quarter on expectations that the Federal Reserve will lift U.S. interest rates further this year to curb inflation, at a time when other central banks are still keeping monetary policy loose.
"Gold prices are mainly driven by the U.S. dollar and then U.S. yields ... our year-end 10-year U.S. Treasury forecast stands at 3.2 percent, with three more Fed rate hikes."
The euro remains under pressure, hovering near a five-month low on concerns that political developments in Italy could cause wider disruption in the common currency bloc.
Political uncertainty arising out of North Korea after Pyongyang threatened to pull out of a meeting with the United States was likely to limit downside for gold, analysts said. But that was not enough to offset dollar strength.
From a technical perspective, gold prices were looking vulnerable to further losses after breaking below key chart levels this week, according to analysts who study past price moves to determine the future direction of trade.
"Gold has eroded key support, namely the 200-day moving average, the $1,302.74 March low and the 50 percent retracement (of the December-to-January rally)," Commerzbank said in a note on technicals. "We have been forced to neutralise our outlook as the market is now on the defensive."
Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.3 percent at $16.40 an ounce, having touched its lowest in two weeks at $16.17 in the previous session.
Platinum was down 0.2 percent at $885.60 an ounce, off an earlier five-month low of $880.50, while palladium was 0.2 percent lower at $981.80 an ounce.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)