PRECIOUS-Gold rises on softer dollar, US Fed meeting in focus

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Federal Open Market Committee meet from April 30 to May 1

US non-farm payrolls report due on Friday

Platinum up more than 3%

Recasts, adds dollar move in paragraph 3, updates prices

By Brijesh Patel

- Gold prices rose on Monday, helped by a weaker dollar, as focus turns to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting and U.S. non-farm payrolls data due this week for cues on the central bank's interest-rate trajectory.

While spot gold XAU= was up 0.2%, to $2,343.29 per ounce by 1233 p.m. ET (1633 GMT), U.S. gold futures GCcv1 gained 0.3%, to $2,355.

The dollar =USD slipped 0.3% against its rivals, making gold more attractive to holders of other currencies. USD/

"Gold market participants are essentially waiting for this Friday's non-farm payrolls report. Markets are well priced for the notion that the Fed should be in no rush to cut rates, given signs of sticky inflation and resilient growth," Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities, said.

A hotter-than-expected consumer price inflation report for March, released earlier this month, prompted traders to dial back expectations for interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed's two-day policy meeting starts on April 30. The U.S. central bank is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 5.25% to 5.5% at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Higher rates reduce the appeal of holding non-yielding gold.

The U.S. non-farm payrolls data will also be closely watched for clarity on the Fed's rate-cut projections.

Gold fell by 2.2% last week, amid cooling Middle East tensions and fading expectations for early U.S. rate cuts this year.

Meanwhile, analysts raised their 2024 gold price forecasts, expecting simmering geopolitical tensions to coax investors to seek refuge in the safe-haven asset and further spur record-beating prices, a Reuters poll showed.

Spot silver XAG= rose 0.8%, to $27.37 per ounce. The metal fell by 5.2% last week before finding buy-side support below the $27 mark, said Frank Watson, market analyst, Kinesis Money.

Spot platinum XPT= gained 3.7%, to $949.35 per ounce, while palladium XPD= rose 2.2%, to $975.39.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Daksh Grover in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Pooja Desai)

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