* Markets await ECB policy meeting on Thursday
* Equities gain after China reassurance on coronavirus
By K. Sathya Narayanan
Jan 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Wednesday as technical support on expected dovish monetary policy from central banks offset revived appetite for riskier assets and an upbeat dollar.
Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,555.73 an ounce at 1322 GMT. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.2% to $1,555.50.
“We have good support between $1,545 and $1,550, prices are rebounding on this level, confirming strong investor appetite for bullion in this range,” said ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa, adding that a risk-on scenario in wider markets could stymie gold’s recovery.
“(Gold) Investors are long because central banks are still dovish. We have potential for the Bank of England and the Australian central bank to cut rates. I don’t see the U.S. Federal Reserve or ECB being hawkish in the next six months either.”
Investors will keep a close eye on the European Central Bank’s first policy meeting of the year on Thursday, while the Fed’s first meeting is scheduled for Jan. 28-29.
Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar.
Global equities rose, buoyed after Chinese authorities raised hopes that the coronavirus outbreak would be contained, while the dollar firmed against other key currencies.
The death toll from the outbreak in China rose to nine on Wednesday with 440 confirmed cases, Chinese health officials said as authorities stepped up countermeasures as millions of Chinese prepare to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.
China’s gold consumption fell for the first time in three years in 2019, data showed on Tuesday, as high prices and an economic slowdown hit buying in the world’s biggest gold market.
Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.2% to $2,405.16 an ounce, having slid by about 4% in the previous session.
“We attribute this to profit-taking after the price reached a record high the day before yesterday,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note. “However, we would not read too much into yesterday’s price slide. There is no sign as yet of any trend reversal.”
The auto-catalyst metal touched a record high of $2,582.19 on Monday, propelled by a prolonged supply deficit.
Silver rose 0.2% to $17.81 and platinum was up 0.1% at $1,000.31. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)