PRECIOUS-Gold heads for best week in 4 months on subdued dollar, yields


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    * Gold gains 2% so far this week
    * Silver rises 3%, palladium gains about 5% for the week

 (Updates prices)
    By Shreyansi Singh
    April 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit a seven-week high on
Friday and were on track for their best week since mid-December,
bolstered by a softer dollar and a sharp pull back in U.S.
Treasury yields in the previous session.
    Spot gold  XAU=  was 0.8% higher at $1,778.04 per ounce by
1:53 p.m. EDT (1753 GMT), having earlier hit its highest since
Feb. 25 at $1,783.55. It is up 2% so far this week.
    U.S. gold futures  GCv1  settled 0.8% higher at $1,780.20.
    "The macro argument for gold has also improved. We are
poised for a run towards $1,800," said Edward Moya, senior
market analyst at OANDA.
    "We've had many investors abandon some positions because of
some extreme technical selling we saw with Treasury yields and
that has really provided a strong backdrop here for gold prices
to continue to appreciate."
    Benchmark U.S. bond yields hovered near a one-month low hit
in the previous session, while the dollar  .DXY  was headed for
second week of declines.  US/   USD/ 
    Gold's advance came despite robust U.S. retail sales data
and a significant drop in weekly jobless
    The drop in 10-year yields below the key 1.60% mark "has
allowed spot gold to break above its 50-day simple moving
average (SMA) for the first time since early February," FXTM
Market Analyst Han Tan said in a note.
    On the physical front, the world's biggest gold consumer
China has given domestic and international banks permission to
import large amounts of gold into the country, five sources
familiar with the matter said, in a potential fillip to gold
    Silver  XAG=  rose 0.6% to $26.01 per ounce and was up 3%
for the week, heading for its biggest weekly gain since January.
    Palladium  XPD=  climbed 1.2% to $2,773.92 and gained more
than 5% for the week. 
    Platinum  XPT=  was 0.8% higher at $1,202.32.

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh, Sumita Layek and Eileen Soreng
in Bengaluru
Editing by Marguerita Choy, Kirsten Donovan)
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