Gold retreats as firmer dollar halts Fed-inspired rally



* Silver heads for first weekly gain in four

* Platinum down more than 1%

* Gold up 0.7% so far this week

By Nakul Iyer

July 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday, with a firmer dollar curtailing the precious metal's brief rally spurred by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's reassurance that a rate hike was not on the cards for the time being.

Spot gold XAU= slipped 0.8% to $1,814.00 per ounce by 1:48 pm EDT. U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled 1% down at $1,817.20.

Gold hit a two-week peak on Thursday after Powell said the U.S. job market still had some ground to cover before the Fed would pull back support. It was also on track for a weekly gain.

Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures said data showing a rise in core inflation at a slightly slower-than-expected pace last month, coupled with a stronger dollar, was weighing on gold.

Gold is traditionally seen as a hedge against inflation.

Haberkorn also said: "Gold still looks strong at these levels and the fact the Fed didn't really say anything that is going to change course on asset purchases or rate hikes adds strength to the market."

Lower government bond yields decrease the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

The dollar index .DXY , which had slipped to a one-month low earlier, was up 0.3%, reducing gold's appeal for other currency holders.

Jeffrey Christian, managing partner at CPM Group, expects gold to break below $1,770 and silver below $25 over the course of August.

"There were a lot non-traditional gold and silver investors that bought the metals after last year's spike in August and prices haven't got back to that level, so you have a lot of investors saying 'this isn't happening, I'm going to move my money elsewhere'."

Silver XAG= fell 0.3% to $25.45 but was on track for its first weekly gain in four.

Palladium XPD= gained 0.5% to $2,659.19, while platinum XPT= fell 1.1% to $1,048.81.
Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Jane Merriman

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