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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as easing U.S. Treasury yields boost appeal

    * U.S. dollar recovers from seven-week lows
    * 10-year U.S. Treasury yields drop below 1.6%
    * Focus turns to ECB policy meeting on Thursday

 (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)
    By Sethuraman N R
    April 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Wednesday,
supported by falling U.S. Treasury yields and sagging global
stocks as surging coronavirus cases revived fears about the
global economy.
    Spot gold        climbed 0.5% to $1,786.06 per ounce at 1247
GMT. U.S. gold futures        gained 0.5% to $1,788 per ounce.
    Prices are gaining as nominal U.S. bond yields are falling
and reducing the opportunity cost of holding gold, Quantitative
Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig said, adding there was
also some safe-haven buying inspired by weaker equity markets.
    Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields             dropped
below 1.6%, raising the appeal of bullion, which pays no
interest.      
    Global equity markets were subdued after a pre-market slump
in Netflix, while rising COVID infections in Asia sent crude oil
lower.           
    However, capping gold's advance, the U.S. dollar firmed
against rivals, rising from a seven-week low hit in the previous
session.           
    "This week we have seen some dollar weakness, but that has
come to a halt and we are seeing some recovery there. That's why
gold is not making some more gains," ABN Amro analyst Georgette
Boele said.
    Market participants await the European Central Bank meeting
on Thursday for further clarity about stimulus plans for the
bloc. A U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting is due next week.
    "Gold should remain supported by continued physical interest
out of both Shanghai and India, while exchange traded fund
(ETF)flows are beginning to see recent outflows dry up," MKS
PAMP Group said in a note.
    "From a positioning perspective, recent short builds are
holding for the time being, however we expect these to be tested
through $1,800 to drive price action higher."
    Among other precious metals, silver        was up 0.9% at
$26.09 per ounce. Palladium        gained 1.1% to $2,791.19,
while platinum        added 0.4% to $1,191.55.

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru;
Editing by Peter Graff and Barbara Lewis)
  
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