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NEW YORK: Gold slipped more than 1% to an over two-week low on Monday as a firm dollar and rising US Treasury yields dented the safe-haven metal’s appeal, also pressured by bets for a swift economic recovery in the United States.

Spot gold fell 1.1% to $1,713.36 per ounce by 1:47 p.m. EDT (1747 GMT). US gold futures settled down 1.2% at $1,712.20.

“The gold and silver market bulls need a fundamental spark,” said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff, adding a resurgence in US dollar and elevated yields are limiting buying interest.

The dollar index firmed against rivals, hurting greenback-denominated gold’s appeal for investors holding other currencies.

The rapid recovery of the US economy, with vaccine numbers ramping up and US President Joe Biden’s announcement this week, is a near term negative for gold prices, Wyckoff added.

Biden will release details on a infrastructure spending package that could be between $3 and $4 trillion on Wednesday.

Higher yields have also challenged gold’s status as an inflation hedge since they translate into higher opportunity costs of holding the non-yielding bullion.

“We see virtually no scope for noticeably higher prices until mid-year, though gold should be able to make significant gains in the second half of the year,” Commerzbank analysts wrote in a note. Meanwhile, palladium slipped 5.1% to $2,537.92, having earlier dropped to an over one-week low of $2,515.

Russia’s Nornickel Nickel, the world’s largest palladium producer, said it had stopped water flowing into its two major mines in the Siberian Arctic and both were on track to fully resume production in coming months.

Palladium could outperform other precious metals given that a larger-than-anticipated disruption in the Arctic mines will further erode the global stockpile, TD Securities said in a note.

Platinum was down 0.5% at $1,179.00 per ounce and silver fell 1.3% to $24.71.

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