Economic news

Gold Starts Week on Back Foot, Fed Meet Looms, Dollar Gains

* Gold unlikely to regain lost ground until Fed meeting - analyst

* Safety flows extend dollar rally

* Gold hits one-month low (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)

Sept 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices were pressured on Monday, hurt by a stronger dollar and concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve might hint at when it intends to begin tapering its asset purchases in its upcoming meeting.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,755.84 per ounce by 0847 GMT, having earlier touched its lowest level since Aug. 12 at $1,741.86.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,755.00.

The Federal Reserve’s keenly awaited policy meeting begins on Tuesday.

“The (upcoming) Fed meeting is casting its shadow via a firm dollar because a majority of market participants expect the Fed to signal tapering sometime later this year, and that’s keeping gold in check,” said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

Denting gold’s appeal to other currency holders, the U.S. dollar index hit a near one-month high.

“If Fed chair Jerome Powell is able to convince the market that after the tapering, no quick interest rate hikes will follow, then gold could rise somewhat in the second half of the week,” Briesemann said.

Higher interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

“It really looks like the market’s turned quite bearish on gold, with some critical support levels ($1,780 and $1,750) giving away and this does open up for a test of $1,700,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said.

Citi Research forecast gold prices to average to $1,700/oz in the fourth quarter of this year.

The bank in a note said it was also bearish on bullion prices for 2022, albeit with somewhat weak conviction, given uncertainty about global growth, inflation outlook and already rich equity valuations.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.4% to $22.47 per ounce, after earlier hitting its lowest level since November 2020.

Platinum fell 1.9% to $923.29 per ounce, and palladium was down 1.5% at $1,986.95.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: Reuters

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