PRECIOUS-Gold slips off $1,800 pivot, investors seek direction from Fed


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    * Platinum hits an over nine-month low of $925.50/oz
    * UBS lowers palladium price forecast to $2,000/oz
    * Gold prices likely to remain choppy ahead of FOMC meet -

 (Updates prices)
    By Arundhati Sarkar
    Sept 15 (Reuters) - Gold retreated below the key $1,800
level on Wednesday, hit by a bout of technical selling after it
failed to hold recent gains as investors looked past a subdued
dollar and sought clarity on the U.S. Federal Reserve's tapering
    Spot gold  XAU=  fell 0.6% to $1,793.20 per ounce by 1:47
p.m. EDT (1747 GMT), while U.S. gold futures  GCv1  settled down
0.7% at $1,794.8.
    But prices were still relatively range-bound, reflecting
uncertainty over the path the Fed may adopt at its meeting next
week after softer U.S. inflation data on Tuesday.
    A stronger-than-expected N.Y. Fed's manufacturing report for
September earlier in the day fell "into the camp of the monetary
policy hawks, which put a little pressure on gold," said Jim
Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.*:nN9N2NL01Q
    He added that improved risk sentiment was weighing on
bullion.  .N  
    But there weren't any particular headlines to prompt gold's
pullback and this was rather due to its "technical inability to
trade up through the 200-day moving average on Tuesday," said
David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
    Right now, "any good news is bad news for gold," and if more
positive economic data comes out, the Fed would be more willing
to begin reducing asset purchases, and gold's likely to move
sideways heading into the FOMC meeting, Meger said.
    Bullion investors also largely overlooked a subdued dollar.
 .DXY   USD/ 
    "However, risk to the downside for gold is also limited
since the slowdown in inflation thereby reduces the pace with
which tapering can be carried out," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole
Hansen.  US/ 
    Platinum  XPT=  hit a more than nine-month low of $925.50
per ounce and was last down 0.1% at $938.74.
    Palladium  XPD=  rose 1.5% to $2,008.07, stabilizing after
sliding to an over one-year low on Tuesday. A chip shortage
driven slowdown in auto production could hurt demand, analysts
at UBS said.*:nFWN2QH0HF
    Silver  XAG=  shed 0.2% to $23.78. 

 (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar and Arpan Varghese, additional
reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad; Editing by Aditya Soni and
Shailesh Kuber)
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