PRECIOUS-Gold heads for weekly loss on Fed rate-hike worries

Feb 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Friday and were heading for their second straight weekly decline, as prospects of more interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve dented bullion’s appeal.


* Spot gold was flat at $1,861.11 per ounce, as of 0043 GMT. For the week so far, the metal was down 0.2%. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,873.00.

* The dollar edged up 0.1% against its rivals, and was set for a weekly gain. A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

* Tight monetary policy is “unequivocally” slowing the U.S. economy, allowing the Federal Reserve to move “more deliberately” with any further interest rate increases, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Thursday.

* Although gold is seen as an inflation hedge, higher rates hurt the appeal of bullion, which bears no interest.

* Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, but remained at levels consistent with a tight labour market.

* Market participants are now expecting the Fed’s target rate to peak at 5.153% in July, from a current range of 4.5% to 4.75%.

* Bank of England policymakers disagreed on Thursday about where interest rates need to go to tame inflation, with Governor Andrew Bailey stressing the uncertainty of the outlook, a week after the BoE suggested its run of rate hikes might be peaking.

* Spot silver fell 0.3% to $21.91 per ounce, platinum eased 0.1% to $953.28 and palladium lost 0.5% to $1,637.79.


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1500 US U Mich Sentiment Feb (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)