December 13, 2016 / 11:16 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eases as U.S. Fed meets, global stock indexes rise

4 Min Read

* Fed statement scheduled for 1900 GMT Wednesday
    * Markets expect quarter-point rise in interest rates
    * SPDR Gold holdings down more than 9 pct since November
    * Coming up: Fed statement Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST (1900
GMT)

 (Adds comment, byline, NEW YORK dateline; updates prices)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Zandi Shabalala
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower on
Tuesday, losing its luster as the Federal Reserve began its
two-day meeting during which it is expected to deliver the
second U.S. interest rate hike in a decade and provide some
insight into its outlook for 2017.
    Markets have priced in a near 100 percent chance of a
quarter-point increase. Higher interest rates generally dent
demand for non-yielding bullion while strengthening the dollar,
in which it is priced.
    Spot gold slipped by 0.6 percent to $1,155.65 an
ounce by 2:47 p.m. EST (1947 GMT), near Monday's 10-month low of
$1,151.34 on Monday.
    U.S. gold futures settled 0.6 percent lower at
$1,159 per ounce. 
    "The language accompanying this week's FOMC decision is
likely to reiterate a 'balanced' risk assessment toward the
economic outlook, suggesting that the next rate hike could be a
decision that's due sometime off in the future rather than
something that's imminent," said Joni Teves, strategist for UBS
Global Research in a research note.
    "The break of the $1,170 technical area shifts the focus to
psychological support at $1,150, which currently looks
vulnerable especially as ETF liquidations persist."
    The Fed is scheduled to make a statement on Wednesday at 2
p.m. EST.
    Investors will be looking for clues on how the U.S. central
bank will deal with inflation that could emanate from the
expansionary policies of President-elect Donald Trump and
economic growth expectations.
    "The Fed is as confused with Trump as is the rest of the
world, so it will be interesting to see what kind of guidance
they give going into 2017," said Ole Hansen, Saxo Bank's head of
commodity strategy.
    Global stock indexes rose while the U.S. dollar 
steadied and the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield hovered
near a two-year high. 
    Reflecting lackluster sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust
, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund,
fell again on Monday. 
    Outflows continued because of the expected Fed rate
increase, said ETF Securities' commodities strategist Martin
Arnold, adding that a greater "risk-on" mindset accompanied by a
stronger dollar weighed on prices. 
    "If we are correct, we should see a rise in rates and a
stronger dollar. The two could spark a fresh selloff in gold to
the $1,140-level we are targeting for sometime in December,"
INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
    Silver was down 1.3 percent at $16.85 an ounce, while
platinum turned up 0.3 percent at $933.80.
    Palladium was up 0.9 percent at $728.10. Holdings of
palladium-backed exchange-traded funds have dropped back to
levels not seen since early 2014.

 (Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Swati Verma in
Bengaluru; editing by David Goodman, G Crosse)

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