PRECIOUS-Gold slips on strong dollar as Fed holds rates

Reuters

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 (Recasts with Fed announcement, adds comment, updates prices)
    * Gold edges down for a fifth straight session
    * Fed holds interest rates steady
    * Platinum near more than 4-month highs

    By Sethuraman N R and Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Nov 8 (Reuters) - Gold eased to a one-week low on Thursday
on a stronger dollar, after the Federal Reserve held interest
rates steady and was seen on track for further rate hikes.
    "The labor market has continued to strengthen and ...
economic activity has been rising at a strong rate," the Fed
said in its latest policy statement, leaving intact its plans to
continue raising rates gradually.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nTLA8MEE46
    Spot gold  XAU=  fell 0.2 percent to $1,223.11 per ounce at
2:50 p.m. ET (1950 GMT), after touching its lowest since Nov. 1
at $1,219.59 earlier in the session. 
    U.S. gold futures  GCcv1  for December delivery settled down
$3.60, or 0.29 percent, at $1,225.10 
    "The Fed gave no indication that they are changing their
pace of rate hikes," said Michael Cuggino, portfolio manager at
Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds.
    As a "knee-jerk reaction" to this, gold will not be favoured
in the near-term, Cuggino said.
    Financial markets had expected the Fed to hold its benchmark
overnight lending rate steady and the central bank's statement
showed little change in its outlook for the economy since its
previous meeting in September.
    The Fed has raised rates three times this year and is widely
expected to do so again in December.
    Higher interest rates raise the opportunity costs of holding
gold, which earns nothing and costs money to store and insure.
    "A failure to continue the momentum a little higher could
see gold moving back to the psychologically (important) $1,200
level," said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of Sharps
Pixley. 
    The precious metal has fallen more than 10 percent from its
April peak after investors preferred the dollar as the
U.S.-China trade war unfolded against a background of higher
U.S. interest rates.
    The dollar extended its recovery following a sigh of relief
across markets after the U.S. congressional midterm election
results, and as investors turned their attention toward the Fed.
 USD/ 
    Gold is on track to post a fifth straight session of losses,
hurt more broadly by a recovery in investor appetite for
nominally higher-risk assets like stocks.  MKTS/GLOB 
    "Risk appetite in the world marketplace is mostly upbeat
following the U.S. mid-term elections that produced a divided
Congress," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a
note.
    "A rebound in the U.S. dollar index today, following selling
pressure this week, is working against the precious metals
market bulls."
    Silver  XAG=  fell 1.1 percent to $14.40 per ounce.
    Palladium  XPD=  fell 0.8 percent to $1,124.40 per ounce. It
touched a two-week high of $1,139.50 an ounce in the previous
session.
    Platinum  XPT=  was down 1.2 percent at $862 an ounce, after
hitting its highest since June 25 at $877.50 an ounce on
Wednesday.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma, Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and
Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa
Shumaker)
 ((Swati.Verma@thomsonreuters.com;  within U.S. +1 651 848 5832,
outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6356/1298 ; Reuters Messaging:
swati.verma.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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