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PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher; eyes best week in seven as yields, dollar dip

    March 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Friday and
were on course to mark their best week in seven, as easing U.S.
Treasury yields and dollar lifted the metal's appeal.        
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.2% to $1,724.80 per ounce by 0101
GMT. Prices were up 1.4% for the week so far, their biggest jump
since the week ended Jan. 22.
    * U.S. gold futures        was steady at $1,723.10.
    * Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields             pulled further
down from a more than one-year peak hit last week, reducing the
opportunity cost of holding non-interest paying gold.
    * The dollar        hovered near a one-week low against
rivals.       
    * The European Central Bank said on Thursday it would
accelerate money-printing to keep a lid on euro zone borrowing
costs, signalling to sceptical markets that it is determined to
lay the foundation for a solid economic recovery.             
    * The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless
benefits dropped to a four-month low last week.             
    * President Joe Biden prepared to tell Americans in a
televised address that he is taking aggressive action to speed
COVID-19 vaccinations and move the country closer to normality
by July 4, hours after signing his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill
into law on Thursday.             
    * Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , fell 0.5% to
1,055.27 tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Silver        climbed 0.1% to $26.11 an ounce, and was on
track for its best week since late January with a 3.7% rise.
Palladium        gained 0.2% to $2,349.52. 
    * Platinum        rose 1.2% to $1,209.10 and was set to post
its best week in four with a 7% gain.
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0700  Germany  HICP Final YY             Feb
0700  UK       GDP Est 3M/3M             Jan
0700  UK       GDP Estimate MM, YY       Jan
0700  UK       Manufacturing Output  MM  Jan
1500  US       U Mich Sentiment Prelim   March

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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