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ROTTERDAM/LONDON: Gold rose over 1% on Thursday on a retreat in the dollar and US bond yields, while grim jobless data raised prospects for a slower economic recovery and more stimulus that could spur demand for bullion as an inflation-hedge.

Spot gold rose 1.2% to $1,727.52 per ounce by 10:38 a.m. EDT (1438 GMT), after touching its lowest since March 8 at $1,677.61 on Wednesday. Most markets will be closed for Good Friday on April 2.

US gold futures gained 0.7% to $1,728.30 per ounce.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, the Labor Department said.

“The higher initial claims than were expected could lead to more stimulus and a slower recovery,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago, adding a weakening dollar and softer yields are helping prices.

The dollar index marched back from a five-month high hit in the previous session, making gold less expensive for other currency holders. Benchmark US Treasury yields also eased.

On Wednesday, Biden announced his long-awaited $2 trillion-plus job plan, that called for a sweeping use of government power to reshape the American economy.

With gold being oversold and the Federal Reserve keeping rates low, gold investors see an opportunity knocking, said Michael Matousek, head trader at US Global Investors.

While gold is considered a hedge against inflation from widespread stimulus, higher bond yields this year have threatened that status as they translate into a higher opportunity cost of holding bullion. “A retreat in yields, especially in the key US 10-year Treasury, as inflation pressures recede holds out the possibility of a recovery in gold prices,” James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC wrote in a note.

Silver rose 0.9% to $24.61 per ounce, while platinum edged up 1% to $1,199.34 and palladium was up 1.1% at $2,647.69.