April 26, 2018 / 4:13 AM / 25 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 5-wk low as stronger dollar, bond yields weigh

    * Spot gold may fall to $1,310/oz -technicals
    * Dollar index hovers near 3-1/2 month peak
    * U.S. 10-year Treasury yield above 3 pct
    * ECB policy meeting in focus

 (Updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices stuck to a
narrow range on Thursday, hovering near five-week lows hit in
the previous session, pressured by a stronger dollar and a rise
in U.S. Treasury yields.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1 percent at $1,324.61 per ounce
at 0656 GMT, a day after it fell to $1,318.51, its lowest since
March 21. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.3 percent to $1,326.2
an ounce.
    "Gold prices are lower because of the stronger dollar," said
Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong
Kong.
    "At these low levels the market could now attract some
physical buying interest ... the market has a very good
(physical) support at around $1,310-$1,315 levels." 
    The dollar index       , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was at 91.102 after rising as
far as 91.261 in the previous session, its highest since Jan.
12.       
    "Contributing to this (fall in gold prices) was a rise in
the dollar and further increase in Treasury yields above 3
percent, which made holding the precious metal less attractive,"
ANZ Bank said in a note.
    A stronger dollar makes bullion more expensive for holders
of other currencies, while higher bond yields dampen demand for
non-interest yielding bullion.
    The benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year yield edged above 3
percent on Wednesday as jitters about growing federal borrowing
spurred more selling in the U.S. government bonds, paving the
path for it to visit levels not seen since July 2011.      
    A rise in Asian stocks also took some safe-haven demand away
from gold.            
    Spot gold may test support at $1,317 per ounce, with a good
chance of breaking below this level and falling more to the next
support at $1,310, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang
Tao.         
    Markets are now waiting for the European Central Bank's
monetary policy decision later in the day. 
    The ECB is set to keep policy unchanged on Thursday, playing
down worries over recent softness in the euro zone economy and
potentially ending its bond purchase scheme by the close of the
year.             
    In other precious metals, silver        gained 0.2 percent
to $16.56 per ounce, after falling over 1 percent in the
previous session.
    Platinum        was up 0.2 percent at $907.49 per ounce. It
slid about 2.2 percent on Wednesday.
    Palladium        slipped 0.4 percent to $973.80 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
Dwarakanath, Christian Schmollinger and Joseph Radford)
  
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