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PRECIOUS-Gold slips as firmer U.S. yields pinch appeal

    * Platinum hits a low since March 31 at $1,164.50/oz
    * U.S. CPI data due on Tuesday
    * Russia's Nornickel expects full output to resume at
flooded mine

 (Updates prices)
    By Shreyansi Singh
    April 12 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Monday as an uptick in
U.S. Treasury yields weighed on bullion's appeal, while
investors awaited key U.S. inflation and retail sales data to
gauge the health of the economy.
    Spot gold        fell 0.6 % to $1,732.14 per ounce by 1:57
p.m. EDT (1757 GMT). U.S. gold futures        settled down 0.7%
at $1,732.70.
    Elevated yields are still an underlying negative for the
metals markets that produce no dividend or yield, said Kitco
Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff. "The bulls lost a little bit
of momentum and that is prompting shorter term technical traders
to press the sell side, putting prices under pressure."
    U.S. Treasury yields remained slightly higher following a
good three-year note auction, and ahead of key data releases
this week, including consumer price inflation on Tuesday.
           
    Retail sales data is expected on Thursday.             
    Higher yields threaten gold's appeal as an inflation hedge
as they increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which
pays no interest. 
    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, in comments aired on
Sunday, said the U.S. economy was at an "inflection point," with
hopes of more growth and hiring in the coming months. He also
cited risks of a spike in COVID-19 cases if there is a hasty
reopening.             
    A new Fed framework builds in allowances for inflation to
run above the central bank's 2% target for a time without the
Fed intervening to rein it in. 
    Gold is likely to benefit if inflation rises much higher
than the target, said StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell. "If we do
start seeing inflation accelerating and people start thinking
interest rates are going to go up again, then gold might
struggle a bit."
    Russia's Nornickel expects full output to resume at flooded
mine             
    Among other precious metals, silver        fell 1.7% to
$24.82 per ounce.
    Palladium        gained 1.3% to $2,674.68 per ounce and
platinum        dipped 2.3% to $1,170.90, having earlier hit a
near two-week low of $1,164.50.
    The world's largest palladium producer, Russia's Nornickel
          said it will fully restart operations this month at
one of two major mines hit by flooding, earlier than previously
expected.              

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh, Sumita Layek and Eileen Soreng
in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Richard Chang)
  
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