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PRECIOUS-Gold under pressure as U.S. yields, dollar firm

    * European Central Bank policy meeting due on Thursday
    * More platinum deficits loom after record 2020 undersupply
- WPIC
    * Platinum prices likely to reach $1,300/oz over 12 months -
UBS

 (Updates prices)
    By Shreyansi Singh
    March 10 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Wednesday after
registering its biggest jump in two months in the last session,
as higher U.S. Treasury yields and a stronger dollar remained a
stumbling block for bullion.
    Spot gold        was down 0.2% at $1,711.21 per ounce by
1207 GMT after rising more than 2% on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures
       fell 0.5% to $1,709.20.
    U.S. yields regained momentum on Wednesday, raising the
opportunity cost of holding bullion, while the dollar also
gained.            
    "Gold prices are likely to remain under pressure, while
concerns about inflation are front of mind for the market," said
CMC Markets UK's chief market analyst, Michael Hewson, adding a
stronger dollar could be a further drag on bullion prices over
the next few days.
    The U.S. House of Representatives cleared the way for the
$1.9 trillion U.S. COVID-19 relief bill to be considered on
Wednesday, when it is expected to be approved.            
    Although gold is widely considered a hedge against higher
inflation anticipated to be fuelled by stimulus measures, higher
yields have challenged that status this year.
    Policymakers were divided on a large-scale market
intervention to counter a rise in yields ahead of a European
Central Bank meeting on Thursday.            
    The U.S. Federal Reserve "would have to flood markets even
more, blue in the balance sheet further to keep yields at a low
level, but that would here in the current environment only fuel
more inflation expectations," said Quantitative Commodity
Research analyst Peter Fertig.
    Silver        fell 0.9% to $25.67 an ounce. Palladium       
lost 0.5% to $2,285.92, while platinum        was down 0.4% at
$1,163.98.
    More platinum deficits loom this year after a record
undersupply of almost a million ounces in 2020, the World
Platinum Investment Council said.             
    Analysts at Swiss bank UBS forecast platinum prices reaching
$1,300 over the next 12 months, driven by high investment demand
and strained supply.             

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru, Editing by Robert
Birsel and Louise Heavens)
  
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