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NEW YORK: Gold fell on Thursday as US Treasury yields nudged up and the dollar hit a four-month high, denting the non-yielding metal’s appeal.

Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,727.01 per ounce by 2:08 p.m. EDT (1808 GMT). US gold futures settled down 0.5% at $1,725.10.

US benchmark Treasury yields were slightly up, increasing the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

The dollar index gained 0.4%, having hit its highest level since Nov. 13 at 91.92 earlier in the session, making gold more expensive for other currency holders.

“You’re seeing a big differential in government bond rates between the US and other European countries and that is causing increased flows into the greenback and that is weighing on precious metals,” said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.

“The momentum (for gold) is on the bearish side, so you’re going to have to see prices rebound a little bit for the bulls to gain some confidence that some kind of upward sustainability can be achieved.”

Gold’s losses came despite sentiment in wider financial markets being weakened by a new round of coronavirus restrictions in the euro zone.

Silver fell 0.3% to $25.01 an ounce, having earlier fallen to a more than two-month low of $24.39.

Silver should find support around $24-$25 and then rise modestly over the course of April following a likely move up in gold and on investor hopes for stronger industrial fabrication demand metal, said Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of CPM Group.

Palladium fell 0.8% to $2,612.48 and platinum slipped 1.4% to $1,151.00.

While there could be more platinum supply from South Africa this year, rising auto demand will likely spur shortfalls in coming years, Commerzbank said in a note.

Palladium will likely remain “severely undersupplied” this year, with prices as high as $3,000 “conceivable” the bank added, raising forecasts for both autocatalyst metals.

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