PRECIOUS-Gold prices face worst week in month on strong U.S. data

PRECIOUS-Gold prices face worst week in month on strong U.S. data

Shafaq News/ Gold prices dipped on Friday, set for their worst week in a month, as U.S. Treasury yields gained on strong economic data and dented the non-yielding metal's appeal, while palladium came off the record high marked in the previous session.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,770.41 per ounce by 0626 GMT, dropped 0.3% so far in the week. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,769.00 per ounce.

Despite the decline, bullion was poised for its first monthly gain of the year.

Data showed late Thursday that U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter as fiscal stimulus fuelled consumer spending.

"This string of consecutively strong U.S. economic data is weighing on gold," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, adding that people would rather book profits on month-end after a decent run-up in gold.

"Gold still remains bid; it is just not a strong hand right now, because of the month-end rebalancing."

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hovered near their highest in more than two weeks, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Earlier this week, the Fed held interest rates and its bond-buying program steady.

"Ongoing strength in domestic data should lead to an incrementally hawkish turn in Fed guidance over the coming months," UBS analysts said in a note.

Higher U.S. real rates will likely trigger further ETF outflows, UBS said, adding that they expect bullion to fall to$1,600 per ounce by year-end.

Palladium rose 0.2% to $2,958.19 per ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $2,981.99 on Thursday. It was on track to post its third consecutive weekly and monthly gain as well.

Silver fell 0.6% to $25.92 per ounce, though was poised for an over 6% monthly gain - its biggest since last December. Platinum was up 0.3% at $1,201.69.

Source: Reuters

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