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PRECIOUS-Gold inches lower as Treasury yields rise ahead of U.S. jobs, inflation data

    * SPDR Gold ETF holdings rose on Wednesday
    * U.S. weekly initial jobless claims due at 1230 GMT 
    * Palladium bounces off near 3-week lows

 (Adds comments and details, updates prices)
    By Bharat Gautam
    June 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices were slightly down on
Thursday, restrained by a rise in Treasury yields ahead of key
U.S. jobs and inflation data this week that could influence the
Federal Reserve's rate-hike roadmap for fighting inflation. 
    Spot gold        was down 0.1% at $1,851.70 per ounce, as of
0622 GMT, while U.S. gold futures        eased 0.1% to
$1,853.90.
    U.S. weekly initial jobless claims data is due at 1230 GMT
later in the day. 
    "Gold is looking pretty comfy (comfortable) about $1,850
today, having established support around $1,848 yesterday and
printed a series of higher lows," City Index senior market
analyst Matt Simpson said.
    Monthly U.S. consumer price index (CPI) data is due on
Friday, which the White House expects to be "elevated".
Economists expect annual inflation to be 8.3%, according to a
Reuters poll.                          
    "We'll probably have to wait until tomorrow's CPI report
before we see a sustainable move in either direction, but we've
taken comfort that ETF (exchange-traded fund) flows into gold
yesterday were their strongest in a month," Simpson said.      
    SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed ETF,
said its holdings rose 0.2% to 1,065.39 tonnes on Wednesday from
1,063.06 tonnes on Tuesday.               
    "Uncertainty presently is holding the gold price in a range
but the trend has clearly been downward since April," said
Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory AirGuide,
adding, the key issue facing gold is that it does not provide a
yield in what is a rising interest rate environment. 
    Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields             firmed,
lowering the appeal of gold, which bears no interest.       
    Bullion is often seen as an inflation hedge, but the
opportunity cost of holding it is higher when the Fed raises
short-term interest rates to combat inflation. 
    Spot silver        was flat at $22.03 per ounce, while
platinum        fell 1.2% to $993.50, and palladium        rose
0.4% to $1,950.16. 

 (Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by
Rashmi Aich)
  
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