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BENGALURU: Gold consolidated gains on Tuesday, extending its climb for a third session on a weaker dollar and Treasury yields, in holiday-thinned trading in the last week of the year with traders eyeing an early 2024 start to US rate cuts.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $2,058.85 per ounce by 10:10 a.m. ET (1510 GMT), near a more than two-week high of $2,070.39 hit last session. US gold futures was up 0.1% at $2,070.00.

Trading was thin the day after Christmas, with several markets closed for public holidays and trading expected to remain muted across the shortened week.

“You may see speculators climb aboard early on the long side, thinking that the metals markets are due for some more upside action in the first quarter,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.

COMEX gold speculators raised their net long position by 20,365 contracts to 131,749 in the week to Dec. 19, data showed on Friday.

“The likely less restrictive monetary policies in 2024 will mean better commercial demand for precious metals,” Wyckoff said, adding that resurgent inflation or more economic weakness in top bullion consumer China could dampen his bullish outlook.

Traders were pricing in an 85% chance of a rate cut by the US Federal Reserve in March, according to the CME FedWatch tool. The dollar index hovered near five-month lows while the benchmark US 10-year bond yield also edged down.

Silver rose 0.2% to $24.21 an ounce while palladium fell 0.9% to $1,192.02. Platinum climbed 0.55% to $976.02, nearing highs since Sept. 1 in its sixth consecutive session of gains.

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