April 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Thursday to hover near an eight-week high touched in the last session, as a sagging dollar and weaker U.S. Treasury yields boosted the metal's appeal, while palladium held close to an all-time high hit in the previous session. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,794.67 per ounce by 0115 GMT, after hitting its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,797.41 on Wednesday. * U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,795.40 per ounce. * Palladium gained 0.1% to $2,877.26 an ounce, having surged to an all-time high of $2,891.20 per ounce on Wednesday, boosted by supply concerns for the auto-catalyst metal. * Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was pinned below 1.6%, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. * The dollar index fell 0.1% against its rivals, making gold less expensive for other currency holders. * A bipartisan U.S. congressional push to counteract China picked up steam on Wednesday as a Senate committee overwhelmingly backed a bill pressing Beijing on human rights and economic competition and other lawmakers introduced a measure seeking billions for technology research. * The U.S. economy will grow at its fastest annual pace in decades this year and outperform most of its major peers, but another COVID-19 surge was the biggest risk over the next three months, a Reuters poll showed. * Market participants await a European Central Bank meeting due later today and a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting next week. * More than 143.22 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 3,187,963 have died, according to a Reuters tally. * Among other precious metals, silver eased 0.1% to $26.55 per ounce and platinum slipped 0.2% to $1,211.96. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0645 France Business Climate Mfg April 1145 EU ECB Refinancing, Deposit Rates April 1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly 1400 US Existing Home Sales March Governing Council of the ECB holds monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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