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PRECIOUS-Gold drops to near 2-week low as dollar, Treasury yields rise

    Feb 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Wednesday to their
lowest in nearly two weeks as the dollar firmed and U.S.
Treasury yields rose, while platinum eased further after scaling
a more than six-year high in the previous session.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was down 0.2% to $1,791.36 per ounce by
0118 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Feb. 4 at $1,785.89 in
early trade.
    * U.S. gold futures        slipped 0.6% to $1,788.40. Silver
       shed 0.1% to $27.20.
    * Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields gained more than 1.3% to
their highest since February 2020. Higher bond yields increase
the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.      
   
    * The dollar        rebounded from a three-week low, making
gold less expensive.       
    * Global shares were mixed, as investors juggle the
prospects for an economic comeback and additional stimulus with
continued pandemic concerns.            
    * Moderna Inc          said the release of some of its
COVID-19 vaccine doses to the U.S. government have lagged
recently because of "short-term delays" in the final stages of
production.             
    * Investors look forward to the minutes of the Federal
Reserve's end-January monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.
    * Fiscal policy will remain an important economic prop in
the United States until the pandemic subsides, Kansas City
Federal Reserve President Esther George said.             
    * Gold and silver mutual funds and ETFs witnessed the
biggest outflows in three months in the week ended Feb. 10 as
investors put their money into soaring equities and
high-yielding bond markets.             
    * Platinum        eased 0.2% to $1,258.56 and palladium
       fell 0.5% to $2,372.45.
    * Platinum, which is used in automobile catalytic converters
to limit exhaust emissions, has rallied about 18% this year on
hopes of rising demand as a result of greener technologies.
            

    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0700  UK  CPI YY                Jan
1330  US  Retail Sales MM       Jan
1415  US  Industrial Production Jan
1900  US  Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes
          from its January 26-27
    

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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