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Gold Rises but Set for Weekly Loss as Dollar Holds Ground

* Gold may retest support at $1,744/oz - technicals

* Dollar holds close to near-three week peak

Sept 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices rebounded on Friday after sliding to an over one-month low in the previous session, though a firm dollar set the metal on course for a weekly decline as investors awaited next week’s U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,762.55 per ounce by 0716 GMT, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.4% to $1,762.80. The precious metal has declined 1.6% this week.

“While support at $1,750 has so far held with some speculative short-covering lifting prices, the bounce looks anaemic and gold faces another test of $,1750 as the dollar remains firm,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA.

The dollar held close to a near three-week peak on Friday, increasing gold’s cost for buyers holding other currencies.

On the technical front, gold may end its bounce in a resistance zone of $1,763-$1,768 per ounce, and retest a support at $1,744, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Bullion slipped as much as 2.7% on Thursday, as the dollar index jumped after an unexpected increase in U.S. retail sales last month raised expectations of the Federal Reserve potentially reducing its stimulus sooner.

The Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting is due to be held on Sept. 21-22.

Reduced central bank stimulus tends to lift bond yields, which raises the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold. It also helps boost the dollar, further weighing on bullion.

Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory AirGuide, also said “the unpublished European Central Bank inflation estimate has driven short term sentiment against gold at the prospect of rate rises potentially happening earlier than expected.”

Silver was flat at $22.94 per ounce, after hitting its lowest in more than a month on Thursday.

Platinum rose 1.1% to $942.76, while palladium dipped 1.3% to $2,007.95.

Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich

Source: Reuters

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