Gold eases, but holds near 3-week peak on U.S recovery concerns

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Gold eased on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields edged up from their lows while Wall Street also recouped some losses, but a weaker dollar and concerns over a U.S labor market recovery kept bullion near a three-weak peak.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,799.18 per ounce by 2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled 0.1% lower at $1,800.20.

The dollar index fell 0.3% and U.S. 10-year Treasury yields languished near a more than four-month trough, driving gold to a peak since June 17 at $1,818.10 earlier in the session.

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Lower yields decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

But since then, yields have edged higher from the lows and stocks have pared some losses, weighing on gold, said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

But gold should remain supported as a safe-haven asset, especially given concerns over a U.S labor market recovery and the Delta coronavirus variant, Streible added.

U.S jobless claims rose slightly last week to 373,000, above a forecast 350,000 applications in a Reuters poll.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said the recent economic readings suggests substantial progress needs to be made for the Fed to raise interest rates, and that is supportive of gold.

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U.S. Federal Reserve minutes from June 15-16 meeting showed “various participants” felt conditions for reducing the central bank’s asset purchases would be “met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated.”

The Fed’s surprise hawkish tilt in June sent gold reeling 7%.

Elsewhere, platinum was down 0.8% at $1,076.71 and palladium slipped 1.6% to $2,806.95 per ounce.

BofA Global Research expects platinum demand to rise on increased substitution from palladium and platinum’s role in the hydrogen economy.

“We see further upside from here, especially when recent disruptions in the auto industry subside,” it said in a note.

Silver fell 0.8% to $25.92 am ounce. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich and Jonathan Oatis)

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