PRECIOUS-Gold heads for third weekly gain on lower Treasury yields, weaker dollar


* Gold up 0.4% so far this week

* Palladium off record peak (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)

By Sethuraman N R

April 23 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Friday as traders remained on the sidelines ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week, but a weaker U.S. dollar and lower Treasury yields put bullion on track for a third straight weekly gain.

Spot gold was steady at $1,784.11 per ounce by 0915 GMT. The metal jumped to its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,797.67 on Thursday, and has added about 0.4% so far this week.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,784.10 per ounce.

"The focus is turning to the Fed as in recent times we have seen significant improvement in U.S. data. That's raising speculation that the Fed might signal its intention to reduce its emergency stimulus measures in the coming months," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst with ThinkMarkets.

"There's an element of hesitation as people are just waiting to see what the Fed says before decisively stepping in on the long side."

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 13-month low last week.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.5525% after falling to 1.5310% on Thursday, while the dollar index was down 0.3%. [US/]

However, gold remained subdued on Friday as investors held back bullish bets despite a weaker dollar and lower Treasury yields, awaiting Fed's decision next week, analysts said.

Fed's next meeting ends on April 28, and while no major policy changes are expected, investors are paying close attention to any comments on possible scaling back of monetary easing in the future.

Palladium rose 0.5% to $2,849.73 per ounce but was off a record $2,891.50 hit on Thursday. Many analysts expect a further run towards $3,000 as automakers ramp up purchases of the metal, worsening a supply shortage.

Silver was down 0.3% at $26.08 per ounce, but set to gain for a third straight week.

Platinum rose 0.7% to $1,212.59. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi) ((; (+91 8061822737); Reuters Messaging: Keywords: GLOBAL PRECIOUS/ (UPDATE 4)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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