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AMSTERDAM/LONDON: Gold prices rose to a seven-week high on Friday and were on track for their best week since mid-December as retreating US Treasury yields and a softer dollar bolstered the metal’s appeal.

Spot gold jumped 0.9% to $1,779.00 per ounce by 10:26 a.m. EDT (1426 GMT), having earlier hit its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,783.55. It is up over 2% so far this week.

US gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,777.30. “The macro argument for gold has also improved. We are poised for a run towards $1,800,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Gold’s advance came despite robust US retail sales data showing and a significant drop in weekly jobless claims.

The markets are trusting the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates lower for longer, so even if inflation does jump above 2% for a few weeks or months, central bank tapering is still a bit farther, ActivTrades Chief Analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said.

Silver rose 0.7% to $26.05 per ounce, and was up over 3% for the week. Palladium climbed 1.1% to $2,770.23, and gained about 5% for the week. Platinum gained 0.7% to $1,200.89.