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Gold Eases on U.S.-Russia Plan for Talks over Ukraine

  • Gold poised for third straight weekly gain
  • Bullion could trade between $1,910-$1,870 next few days- analyst
  • Platinum due for largest weekly gain since mid January

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Gold retreated slightly from a key $1,900 level on Friday as a potential Russia-U.S. meeting cooled some nerves about an escalation in the Ukraine conflict, but the recent rally set bullion up for a third straight weekly gain.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,892.27 per ounce by 1238 GMT, after earlier touching its highest since June 2021 at $1,902.22, en route to a weekly gain of about 1.6%.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,893.30.

The U.S.-Russia meeting slated for next week is likely to keep a lid on gold, although there could be some selling interest going into the weekend, especially with a U.S. holiday on Monday, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The outlook for gold does look a lot more positive, but it's going to be really difficult to get back above those June peaks. We might find it trading between $1,910 and roundabout $1,870 over the next few days," Hewson added.

Helping global equities mark tentative gains, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed to a meeting with Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, boosting hopes of an end to the standoff.

However, "the need for safety among market participants still appears considerable against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, meaning that gold remains in demand as a safe haven," Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

Escalating tensions between Moscow and Western countries over Ukraine and the possibility of sanctions against Russia could impact the supply of key commodities, including gold and palladium. 

Auto-catalyst metal palladium fell 1.1% to $2,340.71 per ounce, after hitting a two-week high in the previous session.

Platinum was down 1.4% at $1,074.54. It surged about 4.5% this week, its biggest weekly gain since mid-January.

Silver was steady at $23.82, on track for a weekly gain.

Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru, additonal reporting by Brijesh Patel; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Source: Reuters

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