* Spot gold held its ground at $1,848.59 per ounce, as of 0102 GMT. U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,846.70. For the week so far, bullion is up 0.2%.
* Gold prices slipped on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve‘s aggressive monetary policy tightening plan dimmed the metal’s appeal, with additional pressure from a rebound in equities. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Minutes of the Fed‘s May 3-4 policy meeting released on Wednesday highlighted, as the market expected, that most participants favouring additional 50 basis point rate hikes at the June and July meetings.
* Higher short-term U.S. interest rates and bond yields raise the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which yields nothing.
* The dollar index steadied after a drop in the previous session, and was set for a second straight weekly decline, making bullion less expensive for buyers holding other currencies. [USD]
* U.S. Treasury yields were subdued after the benchmark 10-year note hit a fresh six-week low, with inflation fears continuing to dissipate as economic data and corporate announcements point to slower growth. [US]
* Spot silver dipped 0.2% to $21.95 per ounce, and has gained about 0.9% so far this week.
* Platinum was nearly flat at $950.28, and has slipped 0.5% this week.
* Palladium dipped 0.2% to $2,006.47, and was set for a weekly gain of about 2.2%, its most since early April.