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PRECIOUS-Gold prices firm on weaker U.S. dollar, Treasury yields

    May 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Monday, hovering
near their highest in more than four months, as a weaker dollar
and pullback in U.S. Treasury yields supported the safe-haven
metal.
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,882.10 per ounce by
0050 GMT. Last week, gold prices hit their highest level since
Jan. 8 at $1,889.75.
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.3% to $1,882.90 per ounce.
    * The dollar stood near its lowest levels in three months
against the resurgent euro and other European currencies, making
gold cheaper for other currency holders.       
    * Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields             were
hovering near a week low. Lower bond yields reduce the
opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.
    * Data on Friday showed U.S. factory activity gathered speed
in early May amid strong domestic demand.             
    * Federal Reserve officials and new Dallas Fed data have
begun lowering expectations for May jobs growth in the United
States as business hiring plans continue to outrun the supply of
people able or willing to work.             
    * Asian shares got off to a cautious start on Monday as
investors anxiously awaited a key read on U.S. inflation this
week for cues on monetary policy.            
    * The U.S. central bank has pledged to keep interest rates
low until the economy reaches full employment, and inflation
hits 2% and is on track to "moderately" exceed that level for
some time.
    * Widespread lockdowns coupled with a jump in domestic
prices stifled the physical gold market in India, as it grappled
with a fierce COVID-19 wave.         
    * Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold
in the week ended May 18, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission said on Friday.        
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.6% to 1042.92 tonnes on
Friday.          
    * Palladium        eased 0.1% to $2,780.54 per ounce, silver
       was steady at $27.52, while platinum        edged 0.4%
higher to $1,171.64.
            

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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