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PRECIOUS-Gold rebounds as U.S. dollar, yields slip

    * Dollar slips from near four-week peak
    * Platinum rises 2%; silver up more than 1%
    * Wall Street retreats after strong gains on Monday

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    March 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Tuesday, inching up
from a more than eight-month low, as a retreat in the dollar and
U.S. Treasury yields lifted demand for the safe-haven metal.
    Spot gold        was up 0.8% at $1,736.46 per ounce by 1.52
p.m. ET (1852 GMT), after falling to $1,706.70 earlier in the
session, its lowest since June 15.
    U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.6% at $1,733.60 per
ounce.
    "Gold surges near session highs as yields and USD dip," said
Tai Wong, a trader at investment bank BMO in New York.
    "Gold's $30 rally from the lows in Asia suggests that
investors and short-term speculators are bargain-hunting and
triggering short-covering as well. A close above $1,725 per
ounce would be considered by many a key reversal day."
    The dollar index        slipped 0.3% after hitting a nearly
four-week high against its rivals, making gold less expensive
for holders of other currencies.       
    Further supporting gold, benchmark U.S. Treasury yields
            eased from a one-year high hit last week, while U.S.
stocks dipped after strong gains on Monday.           
    "The main dilemma right now for the gold bulls is the rising
short-term U.S. Treasury yields," said Bob Haberkorn, senior
market strategist at RJO Futures.
    "Despite the U.S. Federal Reserve being very accommodative
with stimulus, with low rates for the extended period of time, 
in the short term, we have to deal with these rising short-term
rates."
    While gold is considered a shield against inflation, higher
yields threaten that status as they increase the opportunity
cost of holding bullion.
    Market participants kept a close watch on the $1.9 trillion
stimulus bill, which will be debated in the U.S. Senate this
week.             
    Silver        gained 1.4% to $26.84 an ounce, having earlier
dipped to a more than one-month low.
    Palladium        was up 0.8% at $2,369.26 an ounce, while
platinum        rose 2.1% to $1,209.58

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by David
Evans and Barbara Lewis)
  
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