Gold prices ticked lower on Wednesday as investors kept to the sidelines ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision on its interest rate path due later in the day.

Spot gold was 0.2% lower at $1,924.26 per ounce as of 0929 GMT, after falling to its lowest since Jan. 19 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,939.70.

"It's pretty certain that the Fed is going to hike rates by 25 basis points," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

But "the risk is very much towards the downside for gold, because Powell needs to slightly reset market expectations about what's likely to come afterwards", he added.

The U.S. central bank is set to issue its policy statement at 1900 GMT, followed by a press conference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell at 1930 GMT.

Gold tends to appreciate on expectations of lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

However, any hawkish messaging could introduce quite a bit of downside risk, and gold could revisit Tuesday's lows in the aftermath of the Fed decision, Hewson said.

Elsewhere, spot silver slipped 1.1% to $23.45 per ounce.

In its federal budget for 2023/24, the world's biggest silver importer India raised total taxes on silver imports to 15% and on silver dore to 14.35% in an effort to align the duty structure of the metal with gold.

The key precious metals consumer also announced an increase in duty on items made from gold and platinum.

Platinum slipped 0.8% to $1,003.20 and palladium fell 0.5% to $1,641.46.

Analysts have cut their palladium price forecasts and raised platinum price estimates as electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles disrupt the auto industry on which both metals rely for demand, a Reuters poll showed.

(Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey)