PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise ahead of testimony from Fed's Yellen

    * Traders look to Yellen testimony for clues on rate hikes
    * Spot gold may test resistance at $1,230 per ounce
    * SPDR Gold holdings rise 0.49 pct on Monday

 (Updates prices; adds detail)
    By Arpan Varghese
    Feb 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Tuesday as the
dollar crept lower, with investors turning their attention to
testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in
the day for hints on the central bank's interest rate strategy.
   Spot gold        was up 0.3 percent at $1,228.90 per ounce at
0542 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         rose 0.4 percent to
    Investors are focusing on testimony by Yellen before
Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of hints from
other policymakers that could suggest they are leaning towards
more hikes in interest rates this year than the two currently
priced in by markets. 
    "The commentary will be keenly followed. Any guide to
whether (a rate hike in) March is on the table will be key to
moving gold," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.
    "I would not expect to see much volatility, don't think
anyone is really confident enough to put on any sort of
directional trades at the moment until they hear from Yellen."
    Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Monday said the U.S.
central bank should act soon to raise rates, or risk having to
abandon its plan to do so slowly.             
    Gold is highly-sensitive to climbing U.S. interest rates,
which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
    The dollar index was down 0.1 percent at 100.840       ,
edging away from Monday's peak of 101.11, its highest since Jan.
    Spot gold may test resistance at $1,230 per ounce, a break
above which could lead to a gain to $1,235, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    "(This) will be a year littered with political and economic
minefields and we do not see a scenario where gold will
experience a major sell-off back to the late 2016/early 2017
lows," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
    Political risk from elections in Europe and worries over
U.S. President Donald Trump's policies were also seen supporting
underlying safe-haven appetite for the metal.
   Gold has rallied nearly 10 percent after touching 10-month
lows in December, following the Fed's move to raise interest
   Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.49 percent to 840.87
tonnes on Monday.          
    Spot silver        on Tuesday climbed 0.22 percent to $17.83
per ounce. The metal hit its highest since Nov.11 at $18 in the
previous session.
    Platinum        was flat at $995 per ounce.
    Palladium        was mostly unchanged at $774.38 per ounce.
That was down from its highest in over two weeks a $786.90, hit
the session before.   

 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph