PRECIOUS-Gold firms near more than 1-month high as yields retreat

    * U.S. jobless claims fall, retail sales rebound 
    * Palladium hits highest since February 2020

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Shreyansi Singh
    April 15 (Reuters) - Gold scaled a more than one-month peak
on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields slipped despite
better-than-expected U.S. economic data, pushing investors to
bullion as a refuge against possible inflation ahead. 
    Spot gold        rose 1.8% to $1,766.50 per ounce by 1:49
p.m. EDT (1749 GMT), having earlier risen to $1,769.37, its
highest since Feb. 26. U.S. gold futures        settled 1.8%
higher at $1,766.80.
    "A massive amount of inflation is certainly on the horizon
and gold is just the best asset to own as we start to see what I
would consider some historic levels of inflation," said Jeffrey
Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.
    Making gold more appealing for holders of other currencies,
the dollar        was subdued, having earlier slumped to a
four-week low. Retreating benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields
boosted non-yielding bullion's appeal further.            
    Gold briefly pared gains after robust U.S. data showed a
better-than-expected rebound in retail sales in March, while
weekly initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to
the lowest level since mid-March 2020.             
    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the
U.S. economy picked up speed going into the spring.             
    Powell and other Fed officials, however, say the brighter
economic forecasts and a brief period of higher inflation will
not affect monetary policy and the central bank will keep its
support in place until the crisis is over. 
    "The market is betting that there will be large requirements
to fund some higher inflation and a Federal Reserve that's not
particularly worried about inflation being a serious issue for
now," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD
    Silver        rose 1.8% to $25.86 per ounce. Palladium
       climbed 2.1% to $2,733.75, having earlier hit its highest
since Feb. 28, 2020 at $2,760.53. Platinum        gained 2.3% to

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru;
Editing by Marguerita Choy and Dan Grebler)