PRECIOUS-Gold dragged to 4-week low by hawkish Fed bets, firmer dollar

       * Rising real yields will weigh on gold - analyst
    * Silver, platinum at multi-month lows

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Bharat Gautam
    April 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday to their
lowest in four weeks, as bets for an increasingly aggressive and
hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve approach to tightening monetary
policy boosted the dollar and pressured demand for bullion.
    Spot gold        was down 0.7% at $1,916.41 per ounce, as of
0545 GMT, earlier hitting its lowest since March 29 at
$1,914.58. U.S. gold futures        were down 0.9% at $1,917.40.
    Although the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is nearing 3% and
theoretically that's supposed to be a tipping point for gold, it
is more about real yields that are starting to catch up and that
will weigh on gold, said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI
Asset Management.
    With expectations for a half-percentage point interest rate
hike at the Fed's May meeting now locked in, traders on Friday
piled into bets that the U.S. central bank will go even bigger
in subsequent months.
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. short-term interest
rates and higher yields, which increase the opportunity cost of
holding non-yielding bullion. It is, however, seen as a safe
store of value during economic and political crises.

    Gold still has some intrinsic value when economies slow
because then, banks don't want to raise interest rates, Innes
said, adding: "The market is pricing in rates, rates, rates. But
what happens if the economy starts tanking very aggressively?"
    The dollar        firmed near its highest in two years,
making greenback-priced gold costlier for other currency
holders.
    Spot gold may test a support at $1,915 per ounce, with a
good chance of breaking below this level and falling towards
$1,889, according to Reuters' technical analyst Wang Tao.
    Spot silver        dipped 1.7% to an over two-month trough
of $23.73 per ounce, and palladium        fell 3.1% to
$2,302.19.
    Platinum        eased 0.8% to $923.00, its lowest since
mid-December last year.

 (Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by
Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)

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