- Palladium also set for best quarter since Sept. 2020
- Crude oil prices dip
- Silver, platinum also set for quarterly gains
March 31 (Reuters) - Gold was on course to post its biggest quarterly gain since September 2020 as the safe-haven metal's appeal was lifted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and concerns over sky-high inflation.
However, by 1129 GMT, spot gold slipped 0.2% to $1,929.20 per ounce, as oil prices fell. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,932.60.
Oil plunged on news that the United States was considering releasing a large quantity of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve to tackle high fuel prices.
"This (lower oil prices) has somewhat allayed the inflation concerns of market participants, meaning that gold as a store of value appears to be in less demand initially today," Commerzbank said in a note.
Bullion has gained about 5.5% this quarter as Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February drove gold to a near record high earlier this month.
Along with the Ukraine crisis, worries over high inflation and concerns over whether efforts by major central banks are enough to rein it in, are weighing on the economy and helping gold do well, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.
Meanwhile, European stocks were set for the biggest quarterly drop since the start of 2020.
Non-yielding bullion is considered a safe store of value during uncertain times and a hedge against inflation.
Gold also remains on track to post a monthly rise, despite falling earlier in the month ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to hike borrowing costs for the first time in three years to tame inflation.
Silver dipped 0.2% to $24.81 per ounce. Platinum eased 0.3% to $987.48. Still, they were set to record quarterly gains.
Auto-catalyst metal palladium dropped 0.3% to $2,260.30, but is set for its sharpest quarterly jump since at least September 2020, having hit a record high earlier this month after the West heaped sanctions on top-producer Russia.
Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel