June 19, 2019 / 5:08 AM / 4 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips as trade optimism, dovish ECB lift equities; focus on Fed

* Fed scheduled to release statement at 1800 GMT

* Trump says to meet Xi at G20, trade talks to resume

* Dollar holds near two-week high

* Palladium scales fresh 12-week high (Updates prices)

By Harshith Aranya

June 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Wednesday as hopes of a resolution to the Sino-U.S. trade spat and a dovish European Central Bank lifted riskier assets, while investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision later in the day.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,342.60 per ounce as of 0744 GMT. U.S. gold futures also declined 0.3%, to $1,346.60 an ounce.

“We have equity markets surging because of (U.S. President Donald) Trump tweet last night, which has taken a lot of the scepticism out of the market,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

Equity markets jumped after Washington said it would resume trade talks with Beijing and as investors dared to hope the U.S. Federal Reserve would follow the lead of the ECB and open the door to future rate cuts at its policy meeting.

Trump said on Tuesday he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping and that the two leaders’ teams would restart trade talks after a long lull in order to prepare for a meeting at the G20 summit later this month.

There are a lot of uncertainties in the market, including tensions in the Middle East and a dovish Fed narrative, which should give support to gold, Innes said.

All eyes are now on the Fed which is scheduled to release a statement at 1800 GMT, followed by a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Fed is widely expected to stand pat on monetary policy this time but open the door for an interest rate cut at its next meeting in July.

“We urge investors to temper bullish expectations on gold as an improvement in risk appetite from dovish monetary policy will cap gains for the non-interest bearing asset,” Phillip Futures said in a note.

Denting the metal’s appeal, the dollar index held near a more than two-week high, supported by a dovish ECB and bearish eurozone economic data.

“If the Fed comes out dovish or more dovish or as dovish as markets are pricing, it will weaken the U.S. dollar, which will add to gold’s allure,” Innes from SPI Asset Management said.

Among other precious metals, silver dipped 0.5% to $14.93 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.2% to $800.71.

Palladium gained 0.8% at $1,491.80 per ounce, after hitting its highest since March 27 at $1,496.50 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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