* Gold prices to trade sideways for the next quarter - ANZ
* Fed Chair Powell reaffirms extended loose monetary policy
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust slip to lowest since May 2020
* Palladium scales a more than one-month high, last up 1% (Updates prices)
Feb 25 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields hovered near a one-year high, tarnishing bullion’s appeal, although a softer dollar and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s commitment to an accommodative policy limited its fall.
Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,792.81 per ounce by 0757 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.4% to $1,791.60.
“Rising longer dated yields are a primary weighing factor on the precious metals,” DailyFX strategist Margaret Yang said, adding that reflation hopes could push yields even higher.
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields held close to a one-year peak hit in the previous session, increasing the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.
A $1.9 trillion U.S. coronavirus relief aid that is expected to be passed later this week remains in focus.
“The primary trend for gold is downward biased but some short-term rebound is still possible if the U.S. COVID-19 relief bill is approved by the Congress by Friday,” Yang said, adding the medium-term outlook remained bearish.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s reiteration of keeping monetary policy unchanged until the economy was back to full employment and a weaker dollar helped limit gold’s losses.
Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell to their lowest since May 2020 on Wednesday.
“Investor demand for gold has been distracted by moves in other alternative asset classes,” ANZ analysts said in a note.
“We expect gold prices will trade sideways for the next quarter or so as the bond selloff continues and investors play the reflation trade through risky asset classes. But gold’s time in the sun is not over.”
Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.5% to $27.84 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.8% to $1,257.97.
Palladium eased 1% to $2,410.94, having earlier climbed to a more than one-month high of $2,444.50.
Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Vinay Dwivedi
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