Gold prices fell on Thursday to their lowest in nearly a year, as an elevated U.S. dollar and prospects of more interest rate hikes by major central banks to combat soaring inflation weighed on bullion's appeal.


* Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,693.90 per ounce by 0052 GMT, after falling to its lowest since early August 2021 at $1,691.40 in early Asian trade.

* U.S. gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,692.10 per ounce.

* The dollar held below two-decade highs against its rivals, making greenback-priced bullion more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

* The European Central Bank will raise interest rates for the first time in 11 years on Thursday with a bigger-than-flagged move seen as increasingly likely as policymakers fear losing control of runaway consumer price growth.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points at its policy meeting next week.

* British inflation in June surged to a 40-year peak, bolstering chances of a half-percentage-point Bank of England rate hike next month.

* Although gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, rising interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which pays no interest.

* SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 1,005.87 tonnes on Wednesday from 1,009.06 tonnes on Tuesday.

* European Union diplomats meeting in Brussels on Wednesday agreed a new round of sanctions against Moscow for invading Ukraine, including a ban on importing gold from Russia.

* Spot silver was flat at $18.66 per ounce, platinum eased 0.2% to $856.12, and palladium rose 0.2% to $1,864.83.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)