Shafaq News/ Gold edged down on Friday and headed for a weekly fall, as Treasury yields rose, with investors awaiting key monthly U.S. inflation data that is due later in the day for cues on the future of monetary policy.
* Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,846.22 per ounce, as of 0038 GMT, while U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,849.10.
* Gold prices have fallen about 0.2% so far this week.
* Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields edged up, hurting demand for zero-yield gold. [US/]
* Economic data expected on Friday has market participants anxiously waiting for confirmation that decades-high inflation reached its summit in March and has commenced its long hike back down the mountain.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve will hike its key interest rate by 50 basis points in June and July, with rising chances of a similar move in September, according to a Reuters poll of economists who see no pause in rate rises until next year.
* Bullion is often seen as an inflation hedge, but the opportunity cost of holding it is higher when the Fed raises short-term interest rates to combat inflation.
* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased to the highest level in nearly five months last week, but that likely does not mark a material shift in labour market conditions, which remain extremely tight.
* The European Central Bank ended a long-running stimulus scheme on Thursday and said it would deliver next month its first interest rate hike since 2011, followed by a potentially larger move in September.
* Spot silver dipped 0.1% to $21.65 per ounce, and platinum fell 0.5% to $966.13, while palladium rose 0.2% to $1,928.17. All are on course for weekly declines.