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Gold prices slips to its lowest as surging US Treasury yields lift dollar

Apeksha Nair | Reuters/Bengaluru 18 May 18 | 03:48 PM

Gold prices edged down on Friday to near their lowest levels this year, pressured by a firm U.S. dollar amid surging U.S. Treasury yields.

Spot gold was down about 0.1 percent at $1,289.16 per ounce at 0253 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Dec. 27 in the previous session at $1,285.41.

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The metal was heading for its biggest weekly decline since early-December.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery were 0.1-percent lower at $1,288.30 per ounce.

The dollar hovered near a five-month peak against a basket of currencies on Friday thanks to the benchmark U.S. Treasury yield topping a seven-year high.

"The 10-year U.S. yields put the dollar on a firm foot and put pressure on metals and gold," said a Hong Kong-based trader, adding that some "risk-on" sentiment in markets today was also adding pressure.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for users of other currencies, while higher U.S. yields dampen the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

"$1,285 has been good support for the past couple of days, so that's the first support we'll see if it (spot gold) can hold," the trader said. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks were treading water on Friday as investors kept a cautious watch on developments in U.S.-China trade negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that China had become "very spoiled" on trade with the United States and cast doubt on the success of his efforts to rebalance the relationship with Beijing as high-stakes U.S.-China negotiations opened in Washington.

Trump sought on Thursday to placate North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un after Pyongyang threatened to scrap an unprecedented summit.

"Without some resolution on both North Korea as well as the ongoing trade talks with the Chinese, we suspect the overall drift in markets will likely continue, with the path of least resistance for gold against such a backdrop being lower," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

In other metals, silver was little changed at $16.41 an ounce.

Palladium rose 0.2 percent to $979.50, while platinum was 0.2-percent higher at $890.20 per ounce after hitting a five-month low at $879 on Thursday.

However, all three of those metals were heading for weekly losses.

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