PRECIOUS-Gold rises as dollar weakens ahead of U.S. Fed meeting


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    * Fed begins 2-day policy meeting later on Tuesday
    * Palladium hits 12-week high
    * Gold may break support at $1,337/oz, fall to $1,324-

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    June 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Tuesday, as the
dollar retreated from multi-week highs ahead of the U.S. Federal
Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting.
    Spot gold  XAU=  gained 0.5% to $1,345.81 per ounce as of
0643 GMT.
    U.S. gold futures  GCv1  also climbed 0.5% to $1,349.80 an
    "The overall sentiment in the gold markets is positive.
There are expectations that the Fed will cut interest rates,
which has weakened the dollar and remains a main driver for
prices," said Helen Lau, analyst, Argonaut Securities.
    The dollar index  .DXY  against basket of major currencies
was down 0.2% on Tuesday, making bullion cheaper for investors
holding other currencies.  USD/ 
    The dollar was slightly undermined by the New York Fed's
business index showing a record fall this month to its weakest
level in more than 2-1/2 years.*:nL2N23O0AN
    At the current level, there could be some fluctuations in
gold prices as there are still some mixed views on the rate cut
and some investors are cautious ahead of the Fed's decision, Lau
    The Fed's two-day policy meeting starting later on Tuesday
is the next major focus after markets have priced in more than
two 25 basis-point rate cuts by year-end.
    That marks a sharp contrast to the Fed's official forecast
in March, which showed policymakers deemed the next move would
be a hike.
    The expectations of an interest cut has been gradually
increasing amid the raging U.S.-China trade war, signs of the
U.S. economy losing steam and pressure by President Donald Trump
to ease policy.
    All these factors boosted bullion's appeal, with the yellow
metal gaining nearly 6% since touching its 2019 low of $1,265.85
in early May.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. central bank is expected to leave
borrowing costs unchanged this time but possibly lay the
groundwork for a rate cut later this year.*:nL2N23L160
    "We think that the Fed will not raise rates in June and with
regards to policy wording, we could see a slightly less
accommodative tone than what the market is expecting," INTL
FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
    "In which case the dollar could firm up somewhat further and
perhaps pressure gold lower into its trading range."
    On the technical front, spot gold may break a support at
$1,337 per ounce and fall to the next support at $1,324,
according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.*:nL4N23P0UI
    Among other precious metals, silver  XAG=  was up 0.4% at
$14.89 per ounce.
    Palladium  XPD=  rose 1.8% to $1,476 per ounce, the level
last seen on March 27.
    Platinum  XPT=  gained 0.6% to $796.43 an ounce. However,
the metal fell to its lowest since May 31 at $786 earlier in the

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu & Uttaresh.V)
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