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Gold slips on strong dollar but weak U.S. data caps losses

(Reuters) - Gold inched down on Tuesday to its lowest level in a week as a robust dollar offset weak U.S. economic data, and investors awaited clearer signals on the Federal Reserve’s trajectory for interest rates.

An employee takes granules of 99.99 percent pure gold at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant, one of the world's largest producers in the precious metals industry, in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin/Files

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.3% at $1,420.45 per ounce as of 13:47 p.m EDT (1747 GMT), having touched its lowest since July 17 at $1,413.80 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 settled 0.4% lower at $1,421.70.

Gold briefly pared losses following weaker-than-expected U.S. home sales and monthly manufacturing data from the Richmond Fed.

“The Richmond print raised a few eyebrows, though it’s really not that important of a figure, but seemed to have triggered some buying,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

“Gold is likely to stay within the $1,415-35 range with the market getting all bulled up above $1,430 and hand-wringing below $1,420.”

The dollar rose to its highest in more than a month .DXY, supported by a deal to extend the U.S. government's debt limit, making greenback denominated assets such as gold costlier for investors holding other currencies. [USD/]

“You’ve seen a sharp upward move over the past weeks in gold. The momentum seems to have been lost and some short-term investors have looked to take those healthy profits ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve decision next week,” said Capital Economics analyst Ross Strachan.

Investors are eyeing the Fed’s July 30-31 policy meeting at which it is expected to cut its overnight benchmark lending rate. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also expected to signal easier monetary policy when it meets on Thursday.

The repricing among investors in favour of a 25-basis-point Fed rate cut instead of a 50-point cut is constraining gold, said Ryan McKay, a commodity strategist at TD Securities.

Among other precious metals, silver XAG= rose 0.5% to $16.42 an ounce.

“Silver has authenticated gold’s rally. ... What this has done is put the gold-silver ratio down to a level which you might not ordinarily expect, just below 87,” said Ross Norman, chief executive of bullion dealer Sharps Pixley.

Holdings of the largest gold-backed ETF, New York's SPDR Gold Trust, rose 0.6% on Monday from Friday, while the largest silver-backed ETF, the iShares Silver Trust SLV, rose 2.6% during the same period.

Holdings in the silver ETF have risen about 10% so far this month. [GOL/ETF]

Elsewhere, palladium XPD= dipped 0.5% to $1,521.01 an ounce, while platinum XPT= rose 1.3% to $855.25 an ounce.

Editing by Richard Chang