Gold under pressure as dollar rebounds ahead of U.S. Fed verdict

Spot gold was down 0.1% to $1,849.16 per ounce

  
A visitor touches a 12.5 kilo gold bar during a preview day at the German Bundesbank Money Museum prior to its December 17 public opening in Frankfurt, Germany, December 15, 2016. Picture taken December 15, 2016.

A visitor touches a 12.5 kilo gold bar during a preview day at the German Bundesbank Money Museum prior to its December 17 public opening in Frankfurt, Germany, December 15, 2016. Picture taken December 15, 2016.

REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Gold prices slipped on Wednesday as the dollar climbed, with bullion trading in a narrow range ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement which investors expect to give further clarity on monetary stimulus.

Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,838.50 per ounce by 1218 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.7% to $1,838.00.

"To drive gold towards the upper end of the (narrow) range, (the Fed) will need to adopt a fairly dovish tone, which will push U.S. 10-year yields back below 1% - that will help gold," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

The U.S. central bank is expected to stand pat on policy when it announces its decision at 1900 GMT. Investors will be watching for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's tone for clues on the state of the economy.

Easy monetary policy adds pressure on government bond yields and benefits non-yielding gold.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan has been met with objections from Republicans over the price tag. 

"The $1.9 trillion is not going to be there and it won't come much before March, so the market may have to get used to the idea of a lower amount at a later point in time," added CMC's Hewson.

U.S. stimulus plan doubts also weighed on U.S. Treasury yields, while the dollar rebounded and was on track for its best day in nearly two weeks. 

Gold will trade between $1,810 and $1,870 in the near term, said DailyFX strategist Margaret Yang, adding that in the medium term, the economic recovery might push yields higher along with inflation, which would be bearish for bullion.

Silver fell 0.3% to $25.35 an ounce, while platinum shed 1% to $1,086.72.

Palladium eased 0.4% to $2,316.13, sliding for a fifth straight session after hitting its lowest since Dec. 22 at $2,300.50 on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Asha Sistla and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru. Editing by Mark Potter) ((Asha.Sistla@thomsonreuters.com; If within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2808; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: asha.sistla.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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