Gold was flat on Thursday but prices were set for a second consecutive weekly gain, as the Ukraine crisis and broadening inflationary pressures lifted the safe-haven metal's appeal.

FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was little changed at $1,979.36 per ounce, as of 0201 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,983.20.

* The metal has gained about 1.7% so far in the week. Most markets will be closed on Friday for a holiday.

* U.S. President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, ahead of a wider Russian assault expected in eastern Ukraine.

* Non-yielding bullion is considered a safe store of value during uncertain times and a hedge against inflation.

* The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell on Wednesday, after gaining steadily earlier this month - driven by expectations of more aggressive Federal Reserve tightening to combat inflation - and reached as high as 2.836% on Tuesday, ahead of U.S. inflation figures.

* While gold is considered a hedge against inflation, higher U.S. interest rates and yields increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

* The U.S. dollar index eased off May 2020 highs following a dip in Treasury yields, making gold less attractive for other currency holders.

* Traders now look forward to the European Central Bank meeting later in the day to see whether they were in the same, more hawkish mood as their global peers.

* Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose 1% to 1,104.42 tonnes on Wednesday.

* Spot silver rose 0.3% to $25.79 per ounce, platinum was up 0.2% at $987.97 and palladium rose 1.8% to $2,357.61.

(Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)