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PRECIOUS-Gold eases; set for third weekly gain on weak dollar, inflation jitters

    May 21 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower on Friday, as optimism
around a swift economic recovery lifted appeal for riskier
assets, although a weaker dollar and growing inflationary
pressure limited losses and kept bullion on track for a third
straight weekly rise.
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was down 0.2% at $1,872.21 per ounce by
0126 GMT, but it has risen 1.6% this week.
    * U.S. gold futures        fell 0.4% to $1,873.70 per ounce.
    * The dollar was pinned near milestone lows against its
rivals and was headed for a weekly loss. A weaker greenback
makes gold more appealing for other currency holders.       
    * Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields             fell to
1.6340% overnight. Lower bond yields reduce the opportunity cost
of holding non-interest bearing gold.
    * Risk sentiment in wider financial markets remained upbeat
after strong U.S. jobs data lifted hopes around a quick economic
recovery.            
    * Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits dropped further below 500,000
last week.             
    * Japan's core consumer prices slid for the ninth straight
month in April, as a record slump in cellphone fees offset
rising energy prices.             
    * Britain's economy will grow much faster than expected this
year as a fast-moving coronavirus vaccine programme allows
businesses to re-open and lifts confidence, a Reuters poll
found.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.6% to 1,037.09
tonnes on Thursday from 1,031.27 tonnes on Wednesday.          
    * Palladium        gained 0.5% to $2,865.73 per ounce,
silver        eased 0.1% to $27.72, while platinum        edged
0.4% higher to $1,200.57.
            
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600  UK       Retail Sales MM, YY                April
0800  EU       Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs  May
0830  UK       Flash Comp, Mfg, Serv PMIs         May
1345  US       Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs  May
1400  US       Existing Home Sales                April
1400  EU       Consumer Confid. Flash             May

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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