Gold slips as risk appetite improves

Gold inched lower on Thursday, as the dollar remained strong and investors looked past economic threats from rising cases of the Delta coronavirus variant and opted for riskier assets instead.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,801.82 per ounce, as of 0040 GMT, after hitting a more than one-week low of $1,793.59 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% at $1,801.90 per ounce.

* The dollar index held close to a 3-1/2-month peak against its rival, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* Markets added to gains on Wednesday and yields climbed due partly to positive corporate earnings, as investors largely overlooked apprehension about the Delta coronavirus variant and inflation.

* The yield on 10-year Treasury notes continued their bounce from five-month lows following a weak 20-year bond auction. Higher bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

* The European Central Bank is all but certain to promise an even longer period of stimulus on Thursday to make good on its commitment to boost inflation.

* U.S. President Joe Biden said the current uptick in consumer prices will be short lived as the U.S. economy emerges from the global COVID-19 crisis, adding that his economic plan will reduce inflation over the long term.

* U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a move to open debate on Wednesday on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure measure that is a top priority for President Biden.

* Silver was steady at $25.23 per ounce, palladium rose 0.3% to $2,661.17, and platinum was flat at $1,079.99.

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