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Gold slips 1% as stronger U.S. dollar weighs

* Downside in gold could be short-lived, analyst says * Swiss gold exports in March hit 10-month high * GRAPHIC-Palladium shoots to new records (Updates prices) By Eileen Soreng April 22 (Reuters) – Gold slipped 1% on Thursday, retreating from a two-month peak, as the U.S. dollar gained some ground, while palladium lingered below an all-time high. Spot gold was down 0.7% to $1,781.46 per ounce by 1:44 p.m. EDT (1744 GMT), after hitting its highest level since Feb. 25 at $1,797.67. U.S. gold futures settled 0.6% lower at $1,782. “$1,800 was a bit of a psychological resistance, so we’ve come back with tests … The dollar and the 10-year (yields) are both a little bit higher and that’s pressuring gold as well,” said ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir. The dollar was up 0.2% versus a basket of other major currencies, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to a session high of 1.587%, though it held in a tight range. Gold has dropped 6% so far this year, mostly pressured by rising yields. The downside in gold is likely to be short-lived amid central bank buying and increasing demand for physical gold from China and India, said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. Switzerland in March recorded its biggest monthly gold exports in 10 months as shipments to India jumped. But clouding that outlook was a record COVID-19 surge in the country. Bullion’s appeal also was dimmed by data showing a drop in claims for unemployment benefits last week, strengthening expectations for another month of job growth in April. Palladium eased off a record high of $2,891.50 per ounce and was last down 1.5% at $2,833.28. “If you are long palladium and platinum right now, it’s the perfect storm for price increases, because there’s a very tight supply and the demand is increasing, especially from the auto sector,” said Kevin Rich, global gold market advisor for The Perth Mint. Many analysts expect a further run towards $3,000. Silver slipped 1.8% to $26.10 per ounce and platinum fell 1% to $1,202.12. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Bharat Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Kirsten Donovan and Paul Simao)

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