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PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of Fed meeting, palladium scales record peak
Published at 27/04/2021 at 14:25

* Palladium hits new record high of $2,960.50/oz

* Palladium deficit to widen sharply in 2021: HSBC

(Updates prices)

By Sethuraman N R

April 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting, while palladium prices hit a new record high on persistent supply worries.

Spot gold edged up 0.2% to $1,784.16 per ounce by 1313 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% at $1,784.10.

"Gold is sort of treading water ahead of the Fed meeting," StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell said.

"The mantra of lower for longer in terms of U.S. interest rates is pretty unshakeable. So that would be essentially be supportive for gold. It wouldn't necessarily be outright bullish because that's what the markets expecting."

While no major policy changes are expected from the Fed's two-day policy meeting ending on Wednesday, investors will pay close attention to Chairman Jerome Powell's outlook on the economy.

The Fed slashed its benchmark overnight interest rate to near zero last March after the pandemic hit the United States, and has promised to leave borrowing costs unchanged until the economy reaches full employment and inflation hits 2%.

Markets will also be watching the release of U.S. quarterly gross domestic product data this week.

"In the short term, gold's major headwind would be renewed increases in the longer-term yields, notable the 10-year rate on the back of fresh strength in U.S. economic numbers," analyst O'Connell added.

The dollar edged up, making gold less alluring for other currency holders.

Meanwhile, palladium was steady at $2,922.69 per ounce, after hitting a record high of $2,960.50.

"We expect supply, demand deficits to widen sharply in 2021 to levels not seen since 2014, and narrow in 2022 but remain wide. This should raise pressure on limited above-ground stocks and aid prices," HSBC analysts said in a note.

Silver rose 0.6% to $26.37 per ounce. Platinum inched up 0.1% to $1,245.00.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Pravin Char, Kirsten Donovan)

((Sethuraman.NR@thomsonreuters.com; (+91 8061822737); Reuters Messaging: nallur.sethuraman.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))