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PRECIOUS-Gold off 2-week high as dollar firms ahead of Fed decision
Published at 16/09/2020 at 02:04

Sept 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Wednesday, retreating from a near two-week high hit in the previous session, as the dollar gained ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision due later in the day.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,952.15 per ounce by 0026 GMT, after hitting its highest since Sept. 2 at $1,971.71 on Tuesday.

* U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,960.50.

* The dollar index rose against its rivals, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* Asian shares were set for a mixed open, although upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic data is likely to give sentiment a tailwind.

* Later in the day the Fed will conclude its first meeting since adopting a more accommodative approach to inflation and pledging to keep interest rates low for longer.

* The Fed decision is due at 1800 GMT, followed by a news conference from Chairman Jerome Powell half an hour later.

* Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation. Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were open to delaying an October recess to get a deal with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid bill.

* More than 29.39 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 928,669​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* Japan's exports slumped 14.8% in August from a year earlier, down for the 21st straight month, data showed, underlining the COVID-19 pandemic's heavy hit to global demand.

* Silver dipped 0.3% to $27.09 per ounce, platinum

dropped 1.5% to $963.38 and palladium slipped 0.9% to $2,388.29.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 UK CPI YY Aug 1230 US Retail Sales MM Aug 1800 US Federal Open Market Committee announces its decision on interest rates

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))