October 10, 2018 / 5:43 AM / 12 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds in narrow range as dollar takes breather

* Long-dated Treasury yields scale back from multi-year highs

* Spot gold may retest support at $1,182 - technicals (Updates prices)

By Vijaykumar Vedala

BENGALURU, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Gold held steady in a narrow range on Wednesday, as the dollar pulled back from a seven-week peak although support remained strong for the U.S. currency on the back of a strong U.S. economy and expectations of steady interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,189.35 an ounce as of 0730 GMT, moving largely within a slim $4 range during the session.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 percent to $1,192.60 an ounce.

“Some people seem to be expecting a decent snap back in prices but the combination of decent (U.S.) data revisions and inexorable tightening has still got gold on the defensive for now,” said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager, ABC Bullion, Australia.

“The recent revisions to jobs data has underscored the upward pressure on U.S. rates and FOMC (The Federal Open Market Committee) policy choices.”

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday again criticized the Fed, telling reporters the central bank is going too fast in raising rates when inflation is minimal and government data points to a strong economy.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was little changed at 95.695.

Asian shares staged a mild rebound after world stocks hit eight-week lows the previous day on worries about global economic growth.

“We are seeing some gentle bids come in (for gold)... I think this is due to dollar bulls not running wild, and a bit of equity markets uncertainty,” said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA in Singapore.

“If equities spiral aggressively, I think gold will be in demand,” he said, adding that movements in the dollar would, however, continue to be the primary trigger.

Gold has held in a $34 range for the last 1-1/2 months, which some analysts say suggests resilience, supported by concerns over economic growth in emerging markets and inflationary pressure from soaring oil prices.

However, the metal, traditionally considered a prudent store of value during political and economic uncertainty, has lost much of its safe-haven appeal this year with investors increasingly opting for the greenback instead, especially as the U.S.-China trade war unfolded and on rising U.S. interest rates.

“Continued upside impediment will plague gold prices amidst robust U.S. economic fundamentals, widening of global interest rate differentials and increasing bond yields,” said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst, Phillip Futures in a note.

U.S. long-dated Treasury yields fell on Tuesday in choppy trading, as investors took a respite from selling bonds that took rates to multi-year highs.

Spot gold may retest a support at $1,182, a break below which could cause a loss to the next support at $1,174, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Spot silver rose 0.2 percent to $14.39. Palladium was up 0.2 percent at $1,070.72, while platinum dipped 0.3 percent to $821.74 an ounce. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Subhranshu Sahu)

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