April 27, 2018 / 4:00 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady near 5-wk lows, heads for biggest weekly fall in 4

    * Gold on track for second weekly fall
    * Silver set for biggest weekly fall in nearly 3 months
    * Platinum hovers near more than 4-month lows
    * U.S. Q1 Advance GDP due later in the day

 (Updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, April 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices languished near
a five-week low on Friday, set for a decline of more than 1
percent this week, weighed down by a strong dollar, high U.S.
Treasury yields and easing geo-political concerns.
    Spot gold        was steady at $1,316.34 per ounce at 0700
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 down 0.1 percent at $1,317.20
per ounce.
    "The strength of the U.S. dollar - combined with the
weakness of the eurozone currency, after (ECB chief) 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 hit a fresh 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 $16.49 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        lost 0.1 percent to $905.20 per ounce, after
matching a more than four-month low of $901 touched on Thursday.
    Palladium        eased 0.1 percent to $984 an ounce and has
fallen over 4 percent so far this week, after two weeks of
gains.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
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