* Silver on track for best week since May 2021
* Palladium eyes over 12% weekly jump
* Platinum set for its best week since June
Jan 22 (Reuters) - Gold was set to gain for a second week as
inflation and geopolitical risks lifted its safe-haven appeal
but it slipped on Friday amid a broader decline in commodities,
while palladium was on course for its best week since November
Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,831.60 per ounce as of
13:43 ET (1843 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled down 0.6%
Silver fell 0.6% to $24.28, but was set for its best
week since early May 2021, up about 5.8%.
"The bulls are in control because there is definitely
flight-to-safety going into the gold market this week," said Bob
Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
Market focus is now on the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting on
Jan. 25-26, and economists polled by Reuters expect the central
bank to tighten policy at a much faster pace than thought a
month ago to tame persistently high inflation.
The upside momentum of gold could be difficult to maintain
ahead of an expected rate hike, which reduces the appeal of
holding non-interest-bearing bullion, Standard Chartered analyst
Suki Cooper wrote in a note, forecasting prices to average
$1,783 per ounce in 2022.
Gold has risen about 0.8% this week, as investors sought
cover from worries about a possible extension of U.S. sanctions
or new EU measures if Russia attacks Ukraine.
Helped in part by a possible supply hit, as Russia is a
major producer, palladium rose 2.2% to $2,105.18 per
ounce and has rallied about 12.1% this week. Platinum,
which fell 0.5% to $1,033.86, was set for its best week since
Potentially boosting autocatalyst demand for palladium and
platinum, "passenger car output data suggest that auto
production may have passed the trough at the tail end of 2021,"
Capital Economics wrote in a note.
"Although, with investment in new semiconductor output
taking years to bear fruit and the large backlog of orders that
has built up, it is highly uncertain when auto output will stage
a full recovery."
(Reporting by Kavya Guduru and Swati Verma in Bengaluru;
Editing by Amy Caren Daniel, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Vinay