PRECIOUS-Gold flat as dollar advances on rising Europe virus woes

March 25 (Reuters) – Gold prices were steady on Thursday as support from easing U.S. Treasury yields was offset by a strong dollar, which emerged as a preferred safe-haven amid growing concerns about extended lockdowns in Europe.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was little changed at $1,734.81 per ounce by 0130 GMT. U.S. GCv1 were steady at $1,732.90 per ounce.

* The dollar hit a fresh four-month high to the euro on Thursday amid worries about Europe’s third COVID-19 wave and potential U.S. tax hikes. USD/ U.S. Treasury yields dipped after the Treasury saw average demand for an auction of five-year notes, with the market appearing to stabilize after benchmark yields reached one-year highs last week. US/

* Lower returns on Treasury bonds reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods and shipments unexpectedly fell in February. The timeline for when the Fed will start to raise rates will depend on what is happening with the economy, New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams (NYSE:) said on Wednesday. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans also said the central bank will not reduce monetary policy accommodation until it sees actual improvements. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday said U.S. banks look healthy enough to be allowed to pay dividends and repurchase stock. China will maintain credit support continuity and stability for small and micro firms, the country’s central bank said on Thursday. SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.2% to 1,043.03 tonnes on Wednesday from 1,045.36 tonnes Tuesday. GOL/ETF

* Palladium fell 0.2% to $2,630.32, silver rose 0.1% to $25.10 and platinum was up 0.2% at $1,169.96.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0745 France Business Climate Mfg March

1200 Brazil IPCA-15 Mid-month CPI March

1230 US

GDP Final

Q4

1230 US

Initial Jobless Claim weekly



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