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PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 7-week high on subdued U.S. dollar, yields

    April 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday,
hovering near a seven-week peak hit earlier this week, as a
weaker dollar and a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields lifted
demand for the safe-haven metal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,779.55 per ounce by
0110 GMT, after hitting its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,789.77
on Monday. 
     * U.S. gold futures        edged 0.1% higher to $1,779.60
per ounce.
    * The dollar index        fell 0.1% against its rivals after
touching a near seven-week low in the previous session, making
gold less expensive for other currency holders.       
    * Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields             dropped
below 1.6%, reducing the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion.      
    * New Zealand's consumer price index (CPI) rose by faster
than expected in the first quarter as transport and housing
prices jumped, according to data released by Statistics New
Zealand.             
    * The Bank of Japan is set to predict for the first time
that inflation will remain well short of its 2% target beyond
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's term through early 2023, say sources
familiar with its thinking.             
    * Market participants now await the European Central Bank
meeting on Thursday for further clarity about stimulus plans for
the bloc. The U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting is due next
week.
    * Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation that could
follow stimulus measures, but higher Treasury yields have dulled
some of the appeal of the non-yielding commodity this year.
    * A gauge of stock prices across the world fell on Tuesday
and oil prices also slipped as concern lingered over rising
global COVID-19 cases and their effect on the global economic
rebound.            
    * Silver        eased 0.2% to $25.83 per ounce. Palladium
       rose 0.6% to $2,778.17. Platinum        fell 0.2% to
$1,185.47.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600  UK  CPI YY   March

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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