(Update prices towards the end of the session)

By Ashitha Shivaprasad

March 3 (Reuters) – The price of gold rose to its highest level in two weeks on Friday and was on track for its first weekly rise in five weeks, with falling dollar and Treasury yields offering respite to investors. prospects for further rate hikes. by the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,847 an ounce at 1745 GMT, after hitting its highest level since early trading on Feb. 15. So far this week, prices are up about 2%. U.S. gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,852.60.

* According to Bart Melek, head of commodity market strategy at TD Securities, until there is a new catalyst, like next week’s jobs or consumer price data, the gold is expected to remain in a lower range between the $1,830 and $1,850 levels.

* With China recovering, gold consumption is expected to remain strong as people buy the metal to hedge against inflation, Melek added.

* The dollar index was heading for its first weekly loss in five years, making greenback bullion more attractive to overseas buyers, while benchmark US 10-year yields fell from a high of nearly four month.

* Atlanta Fed Chairman Raphael Bostic preferred the U.S. central bank to stick to “steady” quarter-point rate hikes, while Fed Governor Christopher Waller said some strong economic data could push rates above the 5.1% to 5.4% range,

*Although gold is known as an inflation hedge, rising rates increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which pays no interest and makes it a less attractive bet.

* Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 1% to $21.09 an ounce, posting its biggest weekly gain since January; platinum added 1.3% to $972.64 and palladium gained 0.8% to $1,459.91.

(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano and Aida Peláez-Fernández)

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