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Gold prices rose on Friday, underpinned by concerns over rising COVID-19 cases, although a resilient dollar kept bullion on course for its second straight weekly decline.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,756.61 per ounce by 0655 GMT.

It was down 0.4% for the week, mainly due to a sharp fall on Monday following strong US jobs data that renewed early Federal Reserve taper bets.

US gold futures were up 0.5% at $1,759.70.

US MIDDAY: Gold holds above $1,750

"The ongoing COVID disruption means it is more likely that central banks globally will continue to provide stimulus, which ultimately feeds back into inflation and higher gold prices in the long term," said Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory AirGuide.

"In the short-term, expect gold to hold between $1,750- $1,800."

Asian markets were subdued on Friday, pressured by the fallout from rising Delta coronavirus variant cases in several countries in the region.

Meanwhile, the dollar held firm near four-month highs after data showed US producer prices posted their largest annual increase in more than a decade.

The print came on the heels of tame US consumer price data, which helped gold rise 1.3% on Wednesday, but has sent investors looking for more hints from the Federal Reserve on its monetary policy plans.

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, but a Fed rate hike will increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar.

Inflationary pressure will be temporary and gold will trend lower over the next six to 12 months on expectations for real bond yields to rise, as economic recovery remains in play and inflation eases, Fitch Solutions said in a note.

Silver gained 0.7% to $23.32 per ounce, but was down about 4% for the week.

Platinum rose 0.1% to $1,019.64 and was headed for its best weekly performance since June.

Palladium was steady at $2,624.81.

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