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PRECIOUS-Gold dips on uptick in yields ahead of expected Fed rate hike

    * Fed expected to unveil 75-basis-point rate hike Wednesday
    * U.S. second-quarter GDP data due on Thursday
    * China's net gold imports via Hong Kong soar in June

 (Updates prices)
    By Arundhati Sarkar
    July 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices gave up initial gains to
slip on Monday as U.S. Treasury yields edged back up, while
investors positioned themselves for an expected 75-basis-point
interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this week. 
    Spot gold        was down 0.4% to $1,719.49 per ounce by
1:46 p.m. ET (1746 GMT). U.S. gold futures        settled 0.5%
lower at $1,719.10. 
    The biggest factor influencing gold is the anticipation of
the Fed meeting, with U.S. second-quarter GDP numbers on
Thursday also likely to be a significant driver, said Daniel
Pavilonis, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.  
    "Usually, ahead of the Fed, you see a sell-off in the metals
and that's just normal."
    The Fed is expected to lift its benchmark overnight interest
rate by another 75 basis points at its July 26-27 meeting rather
than by a percentage point to quell stubbornly high inflation as
the likelihood of a recession over the next year rises to 40%, a
Reuters poll found.                         
    Rising U.S. interest rates reduce the appeal of non-yielding
gold, even though it is considered a hedge against inflation.
    Gold retreated on Monday despite a pullback in the dollar
      , which usually makes bullion more attractive for overseas
buyers.                              
    Unless the Fed hikes rates by 100 basis points, there is a
possibility we will see further weakness in the dollar and gains
for gold, said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at City Index. 
    In physical markets, top consumer China's net gold imports
via Hong Kong jumped almost fivefold in June as banks stepped up
purchases and COVID curbs were relaxed.             
    Spot silver        fell 0.8% to $18.44 per ounce.
    While growing recessionary fears favour fund flows into the
dollar rather than gold, silver is struggling due to recent
challenges in the electronics sector, ANZ said in a note.
    Platinum        rose 0.8% to $880.24 per ounce, while
palladium        slipped 1.1% to $2,009.64. 
    The use of platinum as a substitute for more costly
palladium is likely to accelerate amid concerns about supply
from top palladium producer Russia and a drive among carmakers
to cut costs, Anglo American Platinum said.             

 (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by
Shailesh Kuber, Paul Simao and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
  
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