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Gold steady near five-week lows, heads for biggest weekly fall in four

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Reuters BENGALURU
By Swati Verma
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold prices languished near a five-week low on Friday, set for a decline of more than 1 percent this week, weighed down by a strong dollar, high U.S. Treasury yields and easing geo-political concerns.
Spot gold was steady at $1,316.34 per ounce at 0700 GMT, not far from a low of $1,315.06 an ounce hit in the previous session, its weakest since March 21.
U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,317.20 per ounce.
"The strength of the U.S. dollar - combined with the weakness of the eurozone currency, after (ECB chief) Mario Draghi speech - is pushing down the yellow metal. The recovery of the greenback is stopping any gold bullish movement," said Activtrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa.
The dollar hit a fresh 3-1/2-month high against a basket of currencies on higher U.S. yields, while the euro was hampered by a dovish tone from the European Central Bank.
On Wednesday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest since January 2014, at 3.035 percent.
A rise in U.S. bond yields pressures gold by reducing the attractiveness of non-interest paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.
"We are still in the channel between $1,300 and $1,360, but, again, we are approaching the bottom area of this lateral trading range. We could expect a first reaction of the precious metal if prices reach 1,300/1,305," Alberto De Casa said.
"The breakdown of this area ... could represent a negative signal."
The yellow metal was on track to fall over 1 percent this week, its second consecutive and the biggest weekly decline in four.
"All eyes will be on the U.S. GDP number out on Friday and this should give markets more direction heading into next week," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
"We likely will see another strong day in the stock markets on Friday, yet another variable that could weigh on gold, especially if the U.S. GDP number comes in on the stronger side."
Strong GDP numbers may prompt faster interest rate rises in the United States and gold as a non-interest-paying asset could see demand taking a hit from higher rates.
Meanwhile, political risks were seen easing after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met on Friday in the first summit for the two Koreas in over a decade. The meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict, comes weeks before Kim is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.
Silver was up 0.1 percent to $16.49 per ounce. For the week, the metal is down over 3 percent so far, its biggest weekly decline since the week ending Feb. 2.
Platinum lost 0.1 percent to $905.20 per ounce, after matching a more than four-month low of $901 touched on Thursday.
Palladium eased 0.1 percent to $984 an ounce and has fallen over 4 percent so far this week, after two weeks of gains.
(Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 12:37 PM IST

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