Gold fell on Tuesday pressured by rate hike expectations and a stronger dollar, but growing recession fears kept safe-haven bullion above the key support level of $1,800 an ounce.

Spot gold was down 0.4% to $1,801.20 per ounce by 0907 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,800.80 per ounce.

The dollar firmed near two-decade peaks, making gold less attractive for overseas buyers.

"Gold could continue its lateral movement between $1,750 and $1,900 for a while," said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external market analyst for Kinesis Money.

"The strength of the USD is making it complicated for bullion to rebound further, but at the same time, investors want to have bullion in their portfolio due to the high uncertainty."

While gold is considered a hedge against inflation, interest rate hikes have heaped pressure on the non-yielding asset.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting and U.S. non-farm payroll numbers will be scanned this week for indications on the pace of policy tightening.

Gold represents an important instrument to balance financial portfolios amid the current economic uncertainty, De Casa added. In the physical markets, India's gold imports in June nearly trebled from year-ago levels as prices corrected, and Zimbabwe's central bank said it would start selling gold coins amid runaway inflation.

"While we're stuck in the $1,790-$1,830 range, gold could be supported on recession worries and possibly the Fed softening their policy stance as the market pivots from inflation concerns," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

Spot silver fell 0.5% to $19.86 per ounce, while platinum dropped 1.3% to $873.94, and palladium was little changed at $1,923.40.

Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin, the largest shareholder at top palladium producer Nornickel , said he was ready to discuss a possible merger with aluminium producer Rusal, in part as a defence against Western sanctions.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)