Gold slips after Putin hints at progress in Ukraine talks

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  • Platinum set for worst weekly fall since November 2021
  • Gold set for second straight weekly rise
  • Stocks gain, European indexes add 2%

March 11 (Reuters) - Gold retreated on Friday as safe-haven appeal for the metal dimmed after Russian President Vladimir Putin said there had been progress in talks with Ukraine, with the likelihood of a looming U.S. rate hike adding pressure to bullion.

"There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me," Putin said in a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, but did not provide any details. read more

Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,984.20 per ounce by 13:45 ET (1845 GMT), but remained poised to post a weekly rise of about 0.8% as concerns over the Ukraine conflict kept investors on their toes. U.S. gold futures settled down 0.8% at $1,985.

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"The Russia-Ukraine crisis will continue to support the prospect for higher precious metal prices," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen in a note, as that could mean higher inflation, slowing growth and fewer central bank rate hikes.

With U.S. inflation ballooning in February, bets that the central bank will raise its benchmark overnight interest rate by at least 25 basis points on March 16, stood at 94%, according to CME's FedWatch Tool. read more

"(For gold) many positive fundamental factors, like inflation and supply chain disruption still remain... but in the short term, we might have priced a good amount of those into the market," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose on the day, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. read more

Spot palladium slipped 4.9% to $2,785.18 per ounce, en route to post a 7.2% loss for the week, despite hitting a record high on Tuesday on fears of supply disruption from top-producer Russia. read more

Meanwhile, silver eased 0.2% to $25.82 per ounce. Platinum was up 0.3% at $1,071.29, but was set to post its biggest weekly decline since November.

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Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Kavya Guduru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Amy Caren Daniel

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