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Gold steady near five-week lows, heads for biggest weekly fall in four

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,316.92 per ounce at 0324 GMT, not far from a low of $1,315.06 an ounce hit in the previous session – its weakest since March 21.

U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,317.60 per ounce.

“The strength of the U.S. dollar – combined with the weakness of the eurozone currency, after Mario Draghi speech – is pushing down the yellow metal. The recovery of the greenback is stopping any gold bullish movement,” said Activtrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa.

The dollar held near a 3-1/2-month high against a basket of currencies on higher U.S. yields, while the euro was hampered by a dovish tone from the European Central Bank.

On Wednesday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest since January 2014, at 3.035 percent.

A rise in U.S. bond yields pressures gold by reducing the attractiveness of non-interest paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.

“We are still in the channel between $1,300 and $1,360, but, again, we are approaching the bottom area of this lateral trading range. We could expect a first reaction of the precious metal if prices reach 1,300/1,305,” Alberto De Casa said.

“The breakdown of this area … could represent a negative signal.”

The yellow metal was on track to fall over 1 percent this week, its second consecutive and the biggest weekly decline in four.

“All eyes will be on the U.S. GDP number out on Friday and this should give markets more direction heading into next week,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

“We likely will see another strong day in the stock markets on Friday, yet another variable that could weigh on gold, especially if the U.S. GDP number comes in on the stronger side.”

Strong GDP numbers may prompt faster interest rate rises in the United States and gold as a non-interest-paying asset could see demand taking a hit from higher rates.

Meanwhile, political risks were seen easing after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met on Friday in the first summit for the two Koreas in over a decade. The meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict, comes weeks before Kim is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.

Silver was up 0.1 percent to $16.50 per ounce. For the week, the metal is down over 3 percent so far, its biggest weekly decline since the week ending Feb. 2.

Platinum gained 0.1 percent to $907.10 per ounce, having fallen to a more than four-month low of $901 on Thursday.

Palladium was steady at $984.50 an ounce and has fallen over 4 percent so far this week.

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