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LONDON: Gold firmed on Thursday after a sharp correction in the previous session as worries over the Russia-Ukraine crisis persisted after no progress was made in talks between the two sides, while key US inflation data is also likely to provide direction.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,996.09 per ounce by 1047 GMT after tumbling as much as 3% on Wednesday. US gold futures gained 0.7% to $2,002.40.

“Gold bulls have shown little qualm in catapulting prices higher on signs the Ukraine crisis could drastically worsen the global economic outlook,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity said.

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine met on Thursday in Turkey, the highest level contact between the two countries since the war began on Feb. 24, but in simultaneous duelling news conferences made clear they had made no progress.

A rush to safe-haven assets earlier this week due to the Ukraine crisis powered gold prices to near record levels hit in August 2020.

Analysts said some of that risk premium was unwound in the last session and early on Thursday.

But gold was propped up after a rebound in shares wilted as analysts warned of further pain for stocks with no immediate end in sight to the war in Ukraine.

Investors are also keeping an eye on February US consumer price index data which is due later in the day, against the backdrop of surging oil prices and ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next policy statement on March 16.

Palladium, used by automakers in catalytic converters to curb emissions, was last down 0.4% to $2,926.54 per ounce. The metal hit a record high of $3,440.76 on Monday, driven by fears of supply disruptions from top producer Russia.

The palladium market “should continue to price-in a supply risk premium in the short-term,” ANZ analysts wrote in a note.

Spot silver firmed 0.3% to $25.80 per ounce, while platinum added 1.1% to $1,087.32.

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