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Gold slips; set for best quarter in six as Ukraine crisis stokes demand


March 31: Gold inched lower on Thursday but prices were set for their biggest quarterly gain since September 2020, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict lifted demand for the safe-haven metal.

FUNDAMENTALS


* Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,926.46 per ounce by 0245 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.4% at $1,931.00.

* The metal has gained about 5.6% so far in the quarter and 1% in the month.

* Ukrainian forces are preparing for new Russian attacks in the east of the country as Moscow builds up its troops there after suffering setbacks near the capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday.

* The dollar index slipped to a near one-month low in the previous session, making gold less expensive for other currency holders.

* U.S. Treasury yields fell while a key part of the yield curve steepened on Wednesday, unwinding recent moves betting that aggressive Federal Reserve policy tightening could send the world’s largest economy into recession.

* Lower yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-paying bullion.

* Spot silver fell 0.7% to $24.67 per ounce, but was on course for its best quarterly rise since June 2021. Platinum

shed 0.6% to $984.26 but was set for its biggest quarterly gain since March 2021.

* Palladium was down 0.5% to $2,255.28 but was on course for its sharpest quarterly jump since September 2020.

* The auto-catalyst metal has tumbled about 40% since scaling an all-time peak on March 7 as supply concerns from Russia eased.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 UK Nationwide House Price YY March

0600 UK GDP QQ/YY Q4

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY March

0755 Germany Unemployment Rate SA March

0900 EU Unemployment Rate Feb

1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly

1230 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Feb



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