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PRECIOUS-Gold eyes weekly rise as political, economic risks lift demand

 (Recasts, adds details and comments, updates prices)
    * Gold on course for second consecutive weekly gain
    * ECB policy decision at 1145 GMT, news conference at 1230
GMT
    * ETF demand has buoyed gold in recent days, says analyst

    By Bharat Gautam
    April 14 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Thursday as risk appetite
recovered, but bullion was still on track for a weekly gain
buoyed by safe-haven demand amid the Ukraine crisis and mounting
price pressures.
    Spot gold        eased 0.5% to $1,967.90 per ounce, as of
0916 GMT, after a six-session winning streak. U.S. gold futures
       dropped 0.6% to $1,973.00.
    "The main move was on Tuesday when we saw the (U.S.) CPI
(Consumer Price Index) numbers and although they were pretty
much in line with expectations... gold still reacted to the
order of $15-$20 or so, and has been consolidating since then,"
StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell said.
    U.S. monthly producer prices increased by the most in more
than 12 years in March, the latest sign of persistently high
inflation that could compel the Federal Reserve to aggressively
tighten monetary policy.             
    Stock markets made slim gains on Thursday ahead of a
European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, as U.S. Treasury yields
eased and the dollar retreated on hopes that inflation may be
close to peaking.             
    The ECB may outline a clearer schedule for unwinding its
extraordinary stimulus, as worries over record-high inflation
trump concerns about a war-related recession.             
    Gold has gained about 1.1% so far in the holiday-truncated
week. Most markets will be closed on Friday for a holiday.
    "One of the factors that has lent buoyancy to gold in recent
days has been strong buying interest on the part of ETF
(Exchange Traded Fund) investors," Commerzbank analyst Daniel
Briesemann said in a note.           
    "We believe this is due to news about the Ukraine war –
Russia appears to be preparing to launch a major offensive in
the east of the country – that is generating considerable demand
for gold as a safe haven," Briesemann said.             
    Spot silver        dropped 0.8% to $25.53 per ounce and
platinum        dipped 0.9% to $977.37, while palladium       
rose 0.9% to $2,354.54.

 (Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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