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Gold hits lowest in more than seven months as rising yields dent appeal

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Sumita Layek
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in Chandigarh
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By Sumita Layek

(Reuters) - Gold recouped some losses on Friday after dropping to its lowest in more than seven months, but stayed on course for its biggest weekly drop since end-November as rising U.S. Treasury yields eroded the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,773 per ounce by 0815 GMT, having touched its lowest since July 2 at $1,759.29 earlier in the session. Spot prices have declined 2.9% so far this week. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.1% to $1,773.20.

Prices have clawed back some lost ground after hitting technical support at $1,760, said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.

However, gold will continue to remain under pressure due to optimism over the global economic recovery, robust economic data, higher yields and stabilizing dollar, he added.

An unexpected rise in U.S. jobless claims despite declining new coronavirus infections last week also failed to support gold.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hovered close to a near one-year high hit earlier in the week. Higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which pays no interest.

"U.S. bond yields have been rallying quite strongly in the last week, and there's growing momentum that they can lift further as U.S. and global growth recovers more quickly as vaccines roll out," said Lachlan Shaw, National Australia Bank's head of commodity research.

The recent record surge in bitcoin is acting as a headwind for gold, as it is challenging gold's status as a store of wealth and portfolio diversifier, Shaw said..

Silver eased 0.5% to $26.89 an ounce, and was down over 1.8% so far this week, its biggest weekly decline since mid-January.

Platinum slipped 1.2% to $1,259.46, but was set to post its third straight weekly gain, while palladium shed 0.3% to $2,345.36.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Jan Harvey)