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PRECIOUS-Gold rises as dollar eases, higher yields cap gains

    Feb 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday to
recover from an over seven-month low touched in the previous
session as the dollar weakened, although higher U.S. Treasury
yields capped bullion gains.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,787.31 per ounce by 0100
GMT, having touched its lowest since July 2 at $1,759.29 on
Friday. U.S. gold futures        gained 0.4% to $1,784.20.
    * The dollar        eased against rivals, making gold
affordable for holders of other currencies.       
    * Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields             hit a near
one-year peak, increasing the opportunity cost of holding
bullion, which pays no interest.      
    * President Joe Biden's push for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19
relief bill took a step forward on Friday as a U.S. House of
Representatives committee unveiled the legislation Democrats
hope to pass by late next week.            
    * The risks of ongoing business failures in the United
States "remain considerable" even as the economy emerges from
the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve said on Friday in
its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress.            
    * Bitcoin hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion as it
rose to yet another record high on Friday, countering analyst
warnings that it is an "economic side show" and a poor hedge
against a fall in stock prices.            
    * Physical gold demand in India last week surged as local
prices dropped to their lowest levels since June last year, with
buying expected to pick up in other Asian centres after the
Chinese Lunar New Year holiday week.        
    * Hedge funds and money managers slashed their bullish
positions in COMEX gold and raised them in silver contracts in
the week to Feb. 16, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.            
    * Silver        gained 1.3% to $27.56 an ounce. Platinum
       rose 1.7% to $1,295.94, while palladium        climbed
1.6% to $2,415.38.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
  
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