PRECIOUS-Gold prices edge up as traders brace for Fed rate decision

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Fed's policy meet starts today, Powell to speak on Wednesday

Gold primed to hit new highs in 2024 as rate cuts loom-poll

Rewrites as of 1030 GMT

By Sherin Elizabeth Varghese

- Gold prices ticked up on Tuesday supported by a slightly weaker dollar and lower Treasury yields as investors primed for the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting for updates on the timing of its interest rate cuts.

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.2% at $2,035.54 per ounce by 1030 GMT. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 rose 0.5% to $2,034.90.

"Gold is benefitting from the moderating U.S. dollar and Treasury yields, even as markets continue to wrestle with the odds for a Fed rate cut in March," said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity Group.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.1%, making gold more appealing to other currency holders. The yields on the benchmark U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR reached a two-week low of 4.0360%.

"Gold could falter back towards the psychologically-important $2k mark if Fed Chair Jerome Powell pushes back against expectations for a policy pivot starting in March and bullion may climb beyond $2050 if Chair Powell fails to deter markets from believing that a Fed rate cut in March is likelier than not," Tan added.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

The Fed's policy decision is due on Wednesday, having made a dovish tilt in the December meeting. Markets are widely expecting the U.S. central bank to leave rates unchanged at the end of the two-day meeting.

A Reuters poll showed on Monday that uncertainty about the economy and U.S. interest rate cuts could drive record gold prices in 2024. PREC/POLL

Meanwhile, analysts and traders downgraded their price forecasts for platinum and palladium in 2024 as demand struggles to rise significantly, but they still expect prices for both to rebound from current levels, as per a Reuters poll.

Spot platinum XPT= fell 0.5% to $922.10 an ounce, while palladium XPD= rose 0.2% to $984.84. Spot silver XAG= fell 0.5% to $23.09 per ounce.

(Reporting by Sherin Elizabeth Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)


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