* Dollar up 0.1% versus its rivals
* U.S. CPI data due on Tuesday
* COVID Delta upsurge keeps stock gains in check
July 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as a stronger dollar made bullion more expensive for holders of other currencies, while investors awaited U.S. inflation data and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony this week.
Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,800.46 per ounce by 1051 GMT. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.5% to $1,801.30 per ounce.
The dollar index rose 0.2% against its rivals.
“Gold is struggling with gaining any significant momentum and it’s trapped in a range around the key $1,800 level,” independent analyst Ross Norman said.
Norman said the gold market lost momentum after the U.S. Federal Reserve adopted a more hawkish stance, raising prospects for a rise in interest rates as early as 2023, and a tapering of its monetary stimulus.
Gold prices lost 7% in June following the hawkish tilt from the U.S. central bank. Even though gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, a Fed rate increase would increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion.
Investors will focus on a U.S. consumer price index report on Tuesday, and Powell’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday for cues on the timeline for policy tightening.
Economists polled by Reuters expect U.S. consumer price for June to have risen 0.4% from May and 4.0% from a year earlier after two straight months of sharp gains in prices.
Offering some respite to gold, an upsurge in new infections caused by the Delta coronavirus variant capped gains in equity markets.
The near-term trend for gold seems to be biased towards the upside, with the immediate resistance at $1,815 per ounce and support at around $1,790, said Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX.
Elsewhere, silver fell 0.6% to $25.93 per ounce, palladium dipped 0.7% to $2,790.07 per ounce and platinum slipped 0.9% to $1,093.86.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Jane Merriman)