Gold edges higher on subdued dollar ahead of Powell's testimony

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,787.80 per ounce by 0454 GMT

  
Gold bars are seen at the Kazakhstan's National Bank vault in Almaty, Kazakhstan, September 30, 2016.

Gold bars are seen at the Kazakhstan's National Bank vault in Almaty, Kazakhstan, September 30, 2016.

REUTERS/Mariya Gordeyeva/File Photo

Gold inched higher on Tuesday as a halt in the dollar's rally bolstered the appeal of the precious metal ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony to Congress.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,787.80 per ounce by 0454 GMT, after rising more than 1% in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,787.70.

"Gold rose overnight as the U.S. dollar retreated and that (upbeat) sentiment continues in Asia this morning, as regional investors hurry to New York's overnight lead," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Making gold less expensive for holders of other currencies, the dollar index slipped from a two-month high against its rivals. 

All eyes are now on Powell, who will appear before Congress at 1800 GMT.

The U.S. economy continues to show "sustained improvement" from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing job market gains, but inflation has "increased notably in recent months," he said in his prepared remarks.

Gold is viewed as a hedge against higher inflation that could follow stimulus measures.

The U.S. central bank in its latest policy meeting hinted at sooner-than-expected interest rate hikes and tapering of its asset purchase programme, which sent gold prices sharply lower last week.

However, hawkish Fed officials such as St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Monday offered toned-down rhetoric. 

"Despite the rebound, gold prices were being traded mostly within last Friday's chart pattern, a pattern that is more reflective of a pause and indecision," Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.3% on Monday. 

Elsewhere, silver inched 0.1% higher to $25.97 per ounce, palladium eased 0.1% to $2,583.24 and platinum climbed 0.9% to $1,063.13 per ounce.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Arundhati Sarkar; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel, Aditya Soni) ((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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