* Platinum up 2.6% on the week
* Palladium prices should trade lower into 2022 - UBS
* Palladium on track for first weekly decline in four (Adds comments and updates prices)
July 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday but remained on track for a fourth straight week of gains helped by U.S. Federal Reserve’s assurance to keep its accommodative monetary policy for economic recovery.
Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,823.66 per ounce by 0725 GMT, having hit $1,833.65 on Thursday, its highest since June 16. Bullion is up 0.8% this week.
U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,825.40.
“There has been a constant decline in yields even though inflation is moving up. It is an indication that maybe the global economy has seen the best and is going to slow down going forward... Because of that, gold looks attractive to us,” said Kunal Shah, head of research at Nirmal Bang Commodities in Mumbai.
“I don’t expect gold to go down below $1,800 in the near-term and it has the potential again to test $1,900.”
Fed Chair Jerome Powell faced questions about inflation and banking regulation in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, and repeated his pledge of “powerful support” to complete the U.S. economic recovery, sending U.S. Treasury yields to a one-week low.
Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, which is also considered a hedge against inflation that could result from widespread stimulus measures.
Making gold expensive for holders of other currency, the dollar was headed for its best weekly gain in almost a month.
Elsewhere, palladium rose 0.2% to $2,735.66 per ounce, but was headed for its first weekly decline in four.
“We believe palladium has likely peaked this year and should trade lower into 2022,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said in a note, adding palladium auto catalyst demand might take a hit as a result of substitution from palladium to platinum.
Platinum fell 0.6% to $1,131.50 per ounce, but was up 2.6% for the week.
Silver fell 0.6% to $26.18 per ounce.
Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Jason Neely
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