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Gold faces fourth weekly drop as burgeoning dollar drains appeal

Gold prices on Friday were held near a three-month low as the strongest dollar in two decades continued to sap demand for greenback-priced bullion, setting up what could be the metal’s fourth consecutive weekly fall.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,820.54 per ounce, as of 0054 GMT, having dropped to its lowest since Feb. 7 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,821.20.

* Bullion is on course for a 3.2% weekly drop, its biggest in two months.

* The dollar steadied near a fresh 20-year high scaled on Thursday as concerns persisted that U.S. central bank’s actions to drive down high inflation would crimp global economic growth, boosting the currency’s safe-haven appeal.[USD/]

* The elevated dollar drove rival safe-haven gold and other precious metals lower in the previous session, with palladium shedding more than 8%.

* Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields edged higher on Friday, arresting a four-session slide, and piling on pressure on zero-yield gold. [US/]

* Calling stable prices the “bedrock” of the economy, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Thursday the U.S. central bank’s battle to control inflation would “include some pain” as the impact of higher interest rates is felt, but that the worse outcome would be for prices to continue speeding ahead.

* Although seen as an inflation hedge, bullion is sensitive to rising U.S. short-term interest rates and bond yields, which raise the opportunity cost of holding it.

* Spot silver was up 0.5% at $20.76 per ounce, but set for a fourth consecutive weekly fall, having lost about 6.9% so far this week.

* Platinum gained 0.8% to $951.50, and palladium rose 1.4% to $1,934.36, but were set for weekly losses of about 1.2% and 5.2%, respectively.

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