PRECIOUS-Gold set for weekly gain on dollar retreat, economic woes

PRECIOUS-Gold set for weekly gain on dollar retreat, economic woes


    * Gold headed for first weekly rise in five weeks
    * U.S. dollar headed for worst week since early February

 (Adds details and updates prices)
    By Ashitha Shivaprasad
    May 20 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Friday, heading for its
first week of gains in five on persistent worries over economic
growth and a weekly decline in the dollar.
    A slide in U.S. Treasury yields supported the safe-haven
metal on the day, sending spot gold        up 0.1% to $1,843.29
per ounce by 1802 GMT. Prices hit a one-week high earlier in the
session.
    U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.1% at $1,842.10.
    Bullion, which hit a 3-1/2-month low of $1,786.60 on Monday,
has gained about 1.8% so far this week. 
    U.S. Treasury yields fell for a third straight session as
investors remained concerned about growing signs of an economic
slowdown.      
    "Dollar has retreated this week and has helped gold rise.
Also, once gold crossed the $1,785 mark, bargain hunters came in
and that provided mild support," said Phillip Streible, chief
market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
    The dollar index        rose 0.4% on Friday, but was still
poised for its worst week since early February.       
    "Bulls are touting safe-haven demand as being supportive for
the precious metals, while bears counter that recent rising bond
yields and a still-strong U.S. dollar remain in their camp,"
said Kitco senior analyst Jim Wycoff in a note. 
    "Both bulls and bears need some new fundamental news to help
drive prices."
    Recession fears have grown recently and because of the
volatility in equity markets, there will be more interest in
gold, said Xiao Fu, head of commodities markets strategy at Bank
of China International.             
    Silver        fell 0.1% to $21.69 per ounce, but was up
about 2.9% for the week. 
    Platinum        fell 1.4% to $948.77, while palladium       
eased 2.4% to $1,958.81. 

 (Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad and Swati Verma in Bengaluru;
Editing by Devika Syamnath)
  



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