PRECIOUS-Gold extends losses as U.S. bond yields firm, dollar rebounds

    March 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Friday, pressured
by a surge in U.S. Treasury yields and a rebound in the dollar,
but the metal's jump to a two-week high in the previous session
set it on track to record a small weekly gain. 
    * Spot gold        fell 0.5% to $1,728.63 per ounce by 0121
GMT, after hitting its highest since March 1 in the previous
session. U.S. gold futures        were down 0.3% at $1,728.00
per ounce.
    * The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note on Thursday
rose above 1.75% for the first time in 14 months after the
Federal Reserve pledged to look past inflation and keep interest
rates near 0% until at least 2024.      
    * Higher yields lift the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion.
    * The dollar also climbed, making gold expensive for
non-holders of the U.S. currency.       
    * The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the labour market is
regaining its footing as an acceleration in the pace of
vaccinations leads to more businesses reopening.             
    * The Bank of England said Britain's economic recovery was
gathering pace but policymakers were split over the prospects
for longer-term improvement, dampening speculation about a
reversal of stimulus.             
    * The European Central Bank may need some time before the
recently agreed acceleration in the pace of money printing, ECB
President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.             
    * Switzerland in February sent gold to mainland China for
the first time since September and shipments to India and
Thailand rose to multi-year highs.             
    * Palladium        was little changed at $2,682.68, having
risen over 7.3% to its highest since Feb. 28, 2020 on Thursday.
Supply concerns emerged after the biggest producer of the metal,
Russia's Nornickel Nickel          , cut output estimates. 
    *  Silver        fell 0.6% to $25.89 and platinum        was
down 0.7% at $1,198.19.
0700  Germany  Producer Prices MM, YY  Feb

 (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by