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Gold hits 5-1/2-month low on strong dollar, Treasury yields

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold fell for the third straight session on Monday, reaching a 5-1/2-month low as the dollar and Treasury yields strengthened on expectations that President-elect Donald Trump will boost U.S. spending.

The market pared losses as the greenback .DXY and yields came off their sharp highs.

“Uncertainty about the U.S. economic outlook and also about international risk events such as the Austrian presidential election and the Italian constitutional referendum next month could have an impact on wider markets and impact gold’s trading in the medium term,” said ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa.

Spot gold XAU= hit its lowest since June 3 at $1,211.08 an ounce and was down 0.6 percent at $1,218.92 an ounce by 2:32 p.m. EST (1932 GMT). It was on track for its biggest three-day drop since July 2015.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 settled down 0.2 percent at $1,221.70.

The dollar .DXY rose for the sixth straight session, reaching an 11-month high against a basket of major currencies, while U.S. 10-year Treasury US10YT=RR yields soared to their highest since December 2015 at 2.3 percent. [FRX/] [MKTS/GLOB]

“Our FX strategists believe the U.S. dollar is set to break new highs after consolidating through much of 2016, driven by the president-elect favouring infrastructure spending and tax cuts, as well as the increased likelihood of higher rates in 2017-18,” said Standard Chartered in a note.

“A stronger U.S. dollar and higher rates do not only present a hurdle (for gold) in the short term, but are also likely to weigh on prices in the forthcoming months.”

The market is now betting on the Federal Reserve raising interest rates more quickly. Higher U.S. interest rates could lift the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing gold, pressuring the price of bullion.

Saying the coming year under a new U.S. president will be one of “changes” for economic policy, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan on Monday called for “intelligent” fiscal policy to boost growth over the long term.

SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell on Friday.

Among precious metals, palladium XPD= has been the outlier, having risen 7.7 percent last week. On Monday, it was up 3.1 percent at $692.90 an ounce.

Silver XAG= fell 3.3 percent to its lowest since June at $16.61 an ounce, tracking gold's downside.

Platinum XPT= was down 1.2 percent at $928.50, after falling to $917.50, the lowest since late-February.

Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Adrian Croft and Tom Brown