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PRECIOUS-Gold slips as Fed offers no pointers on further stimulus

 (Updates prices)
    * Fed to hold rates near zero until at least 2023
    * Platinum falls more than 2%
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

    By Nakul Iyer
    Sept 17 (Reuters) - Gold slipped on Thursday after the U.S.
Federal Reserve disappointed expectations for further stimulus
to spur inflation and support the economy, battered by the
coronavirus crisis.
    Spot gold        dropped 0.8% to $1,944.44 per ounce by 1129
GMT. U.S. gold futures         slipped 0.9% to $1,952.20.
    "The gold market was somewhat disappointed by the lack of
outlook or guidance (about) what the Fed would do in order to
spur inflation," Carsten Menke, analyst at Julius Baer, said.
    He said as gold has moved from below $1,200 to more than
$1,900, quite a few risks have been priced into gold and to see
even more upside, there should be an even greater pool of risks
which could affect financial markets. 
    The Fed also stated that it expected a faster economic
recovery than previously forecast, with unemployment falling
more quickly than it had expected in June.             
    However, keeping a floor under non-yielding gold, the Fed
pledged to keep rates pinned near zero levels until inflation
was on track to "moderately exceed" its 2% inflation target "for
some time".             
    Near-zero interest rates globally and demand for a hedge
against perceived inflation have helped gold to gain about 28%
so far this year.     
    Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on
Thursday and suggested there would be no immediate expansion of
stimulus.             
    Independent analyst Ross Norman said gold had already done a
lot of the "heavy lifting" year-to-date, and would not go much
higher or lower. "The best indicator that momentum has come off
gold is in the Exchange Traded Funds," he said.
    Investors have slowed their rapid accumulation of
gold-backed ETFs seen earlier this year.                       
    Elsewhere, silver        dropped 1.5% to $26.82 per ounce,
platinum        dipped 2.4%, to $945.97 per ounce, and palladium
       fell 1.1% to $2,372.99. 

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru.
Editing by Jane Merriman)
  
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