* Focus turns to ECB policy meeting on Thursday * 10-year U.S. Treasury yields drop below 1.6% (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel April 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Wednesday, hovering near a seven-week high hit earlier this week, as a softer dollar and a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields lifted demand for the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was up 0.5% to $1,786.80 per ounce at 0657 GMT, after hitting $1,789.77 on Monday, its highest since Feb. 25. U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,786.90 per ounce. "The U.S. dollar had edged lower this morning, supporting prices, with gold's upward momentum from overnight continuing in Asia," OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said. "Providing that U.S. 10-year yields remain softer, gold appears to be gathering strength for a test of the 100-day moving average at $1,802 an ounce in the days ahead." The dollar index was languishing near a seven-week low against its rivals, while benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields dropped below 1.6%, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Market participants now await the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday for further clarity about stimulus plans for the bloc. The U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting is due next week. Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation that could follow stimulus measures, but higher Treasury yields have dulled some of the appeal of the non-yielding commodity this year. "In the big picture, gold prices are moving higher from lows established below $1,700 as the dollar remains weak and U.S. yields declined in the face of a new driver - geopolitics," Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note. "With a delay due to the accelerating spread of the coronavirus, gold traders would expect the Fed and other central bankers to remain dovish." Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.9% at $26.09 per ounce. Palladium gained 0.9% to $2,786.94, while platinum rose 1% to $1,199.03. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Mark Potter)
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