Gold eased on Thursday as US Treasury yields hovered near a one-year peak, tarnishing bullion's appeal, although a softer dollar and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's commitment to an accommodative policy limited its fall.
Spot gold fell 0.5% to $1,794.67 per ounce by 0324 GMT. US gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,795.80.
"Rising longer-dated yields are a primary weighing factor on the precious metals... given investors can get much better return in a risk free rate market," said DailyFX strategist Margaret Yang.
Benchmark US Treasury yields held close to a one-year peak hit in the previous session, increasing the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest. A $1.9 trillion US coronavirus relief aid that is expected to pass later this week remains in focus.
"The primary trend for gold is downward biased but some short term rebound is still possible if the US Covid-19 relief bill is approved by the Congress by Friday," Yang said, adding medium-term outlook remains bearish.
Limiting gold's losses was Powell's reiteration of keeping monetary policy unchanged until the economy was back to full employment and a weaker dollar. Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell to their lowest since May 2020 on Wednesday.
"Investor demand for gold has been distracted by moves in other alternative asset classes," ANZ analysts said in a note.
"We expect gold prices will trade sideways for the next quarter or so as the bond selloff continues and investors play the reflation trade through risky asset classes. But gold's time in the sun is not over."
Among other precious metals, silver was steady at $27.97 an ounce. Platinum fell 1.1% to $1,254.63, while palladium eased 0.2% to $2,430.50.