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PRECIOUS-Gold inches up but strong dollar, bond yields weigh

Credit: REUTERS/ILYA NAYMUSHIN

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, after hitting a seven-week trough in the previous session, although a robust dollar and elevated U.S. Treasury yields kept pressure intact.

By Nakul Iyer

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, after hitting a seven-week trough in the previous session, although a robust dollar and elevated U.S. Treasury yields kept pressure intact.

Spot gold XAU= rose 0.4% to $1,733.55 per ounce by 0334 GMT, slightly recovering from their lowest level since Aug. 9 at $1,720.49 hit on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures GCv1 were up 0.7% at $1,734.10 per ounce.

Weighing on gold were expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could start reducing its pandemic stimulus, which kept the dollar index =USD near a one-year high.

A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

"Gold is consolidating before maybe another major leg lower," said DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak, pointing to the Fed's move towards tapering and a steeper rate hike cycle than markets initially expected.

"While there are ample risks that could help gold break higher, like weaker economic data or the Evergrande debt crisis potentially spilling over into other economies, these are unlikely to provide lasting support."

A break below $1,700 could see gold test the $1,675-$1,680 level, Spivak said.

Two Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday they were in favour of the central bank beginning to wind down its monthly asset purchases this year.

Adding to bullion's woes, benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR edged up and held above 1.5%, a level not seen since late June.USD/US/

Gold is traditionally seen as an inflation hedge, but reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push up yields on government bonds, in turn translating into a higher opportunity cost for gold, which pays no interest.

Silver XAG= rose 0.2% to $21.56 per ounce. Platinum XPT= gained 0.6% to $956.23 and palladium XPD= was up 0.7% at $1,870.18.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

((nakul.iyer@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 0417; Reuters Messaging: nakul.iyer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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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