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PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady as equities rally offsets softer dollar

    * U.S. dollar index eases
    * U.S. CPI gains by the most in over 8-1/2 years in March
    * Not many triggers to move gold much either way - analyst

 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    April 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on
Wednesday as global equity markets held near record highs,
offsetting support for bullion from a softer dollar and data
showing a jump in U.S. inflation.
    Spot gold        was steady at $1,744.20 per ounce, as of
1159 GMT. U.S. gold futures        fell 0.1% to $1,745.20.
    "Gold reacted positively to the U.S. inflation data, because
bond yields were down and the dollar was also weaker, and so
that certainly lends support to gold," said Commerzbank analyst
Daniel Briesemann.
    However, he added, record high global equities are "a sign
of high risk appetite ... Investors are looking for some other
possibilities to invest in than gold where they can find higher
yields."            
    Bullion jumped as much as 0.9% on Tuesday after U.S.
consumer prices soared the most in more than 8-1/2 years in
March. Gold is often viewed as a hedge against inflation.
            
    The U.S. dollar was down, making gold cheaper for holders of
other currencies. However, benchmark Treasury yields recovered
slightly, increasing the opportunity cost of holding gold. 
           
    Bullion was also supported by comments from Philadelphia
Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker who said the Fed will
not withdraw its funding just yet even as the U.S. economy could
expand by 5% to 6% this year.             
    "It seems that over the near term there are not many new
triggers to substantially move gold prices either way, but the
inflation outlook remains the key determinant," said Xiao Fu,
head of commodities markets strategy at Bank of China
International.
    "The bias might still be skewed to the downside if we're
talking about the coming months because the momentum, especially
in the United States, could continue in Q2 and Q3... (and) other
economies are also recovering." 
    Silver        rose 0.2% to $25.37 per ounce and palladium
       eased 0.5% at $2,675.21. Platinum        gained 1.7% to
$1,175.08.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)
  
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