PRECIOUS-Gold falls below 2-week low on strong dollar, stocks


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    * Dip below $1,266 could trigger further decline -analyst
    * Fed minutes due on Wednesday
    * Dollar index near one-month high

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity, comments)
    By Brijesh Patel
    May 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices dropped on Tuesday to the
lowest in more than two weeks, as the dollar strengthened along
with equities and other riskier assets ahead of the U.S. Federal
Reserve's release of minutes from its latest meeting.
    Spot gold  XAU=  fell 0.3% to $1,273.70 per ounce as of 2:24
p.m. EDT (1824 GMT). The session low of $1,268.97 was its lowest
since May 3.
    U.S. gold futures  GCcv1  settled down 0.3% at $1,273.20.
    "What we are seeing, in a strange way, money is flowing
towards the dollar as a safe-haven," said Bart Melek, head of
commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.
    "Also, we have little bit of risk appetite on the stock
futures, so less of a reason to go into gold as a hedge," he
    International equities markets strengthened after the United
States temporarily relaxed curbs on China's Huawei Technologies,
easing worries about further escalation of the U.S.-China trade
war.  MKTS/GLOB*:nL2N22W19U
    The dollar index  .DXY  climbed to its highest in nearly a
month, supported by the U.S.-China trade war and higher U.S.
Treasury yields.  USD/   US/ 
    "Precious metals prices have come under pressure across the
complex as trade tensions have heightened, the U.S. dollar has
strengthened and U.S. Treasury yields have edged higher,"
Standard Chartered analysts said in a note.
    "Gold prices have tumbled to test the lows for the month
ahead of the FOMC May meeting minutes due on 22 May. Our
economists expect the minutes to emphasize patience and
    The Fed minutes are expected to provide insights into the
May 1 central bank meeting in which policymakers decided to keep
interest rates steady and signaled little appetite to adjust
them any time soon.
    On Monday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it was premature to
ascertain the impact of trade and tariffs on monetary policy.*:nL2N22W1MC*:nL2N22W1LS
    "From a technical point of view, a first positive signal
(for gold) would be a recovery to $1,290, while a fall below the
recent low of $1,266 could open space for a further decline," 
said ActivTrades analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa.
    Among other precious metals, silver  XAG=  fell 0.2% to
$14.43 per ounce.
    Platinum  XPT=  fell 0.1% to $811 per ounce after touching a
three-month low of $801.50 earlier, while palladium  XPD=  fell
0.7% to $1,320.01 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Swati Verma in Bengaluru
Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)
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