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BENGALURU: Gold prices fell more than 1% to their lowest since April 2020 on Friday as a cocktail of factors from a robust dollar and elevated US bond yields to worries about more US interest rate hikes diminished its appeal.

Spot gold was down 1.3% at $1,648.59 per ounce by 1224 GMT and on course for a second straight weekly decline, down 1.6%. US gold futures fell 1.5% to $1,656.20. “The renewed strength of the dollar is pushing gold lower. The gold market’s short-term outlook is still challenged by the market looking for a peak in the dollar and especially in the yields,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

The dollar jumped 0.9% to a new two-decade high against its rivals, making gold less appealing for other currency holders. Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields hit an 11-year peak.

A number of central banks including the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have raised interest rates this week to tame inflation and also stoked concerns of a global recession. While gold is considered a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty, rising rates dull its appeal since it yields no interest.

“There was some safe-haven buying as the war in Ukraine escalated. Nevertheless, the relentless rise in rates remains a headwind for gold as tightening monetary policies are providing firm ground for both real yield and the USD,” said ANZ commodities strategist Soni Kumari.

“Consumer price index numbers are likely to remain elevated and the Fed looks determined to bring down inflation. We are expecting gold prices to fall towards (the) $1,620 per ounce level and below $1,600 per ounce.”

Caught in gold’s slipstream, spot silver dropped 2.9% to $19.09 per ounce, palladium fell 3.5% to $2,092.54 and platinum slid 2.9% to $873.65. All three metals were heading for weekly declines.

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