PRECIOUS-Gold slips on firmer dollar, Fed rate-hike fears

    * Focus on Fed minutes due on Wednesday
    * Gold supported around $1,785/oz - analyst
    * Silver, platinum down over 1% each

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Aug 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Monday as the
dollar rebounded, with expectations of sharp interest rate hikes
from the Federal Reserve further pressuring the yellow metal.
    Spot gold        was down 0.6% at $1,791.33 per ounce, as of
0704 GMT, after rising about 1.6% last week. U.S. gold futures
       fell 0.5% to $1,807.30.
    The dollar        erased earlier losses to strengthen 0.2%
against its rivals, making gold more expensive for buyers
holding other currencies.       
    "Gold looks like in some consolidation here for a week or
two before resuming the upward march towards $2,000 yet again.
There may be even some who will feel the need to take profits to
offset property portfolio weakness," said Clifford Bennett,
chief economist at ACY Securities.
    "Gold is likely to be supported around $1,785. A slip to
$1,760 cannot be ruled out, but this would represent a fantastic
long-term buying opportunity."    
    Meanwhile, Richmond Fed Bank President Thomas Barkin said on
Friday he wanted to raise interest rates further to bring
inflation under control.             
    Investors will be watching out for minutes from the Fed's
last monetary policy meeting due on Wednesday for more clues on
future rate hikes.
    Traders were pricing in around a 44.5% chance of a
75-basis-point rate hike by the Fed in September and a 57.5%
chance of a 50 bps increase.           
    Although gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, rising 
U.S. interest rates dim non-yielding bullion's appeal.
    "Gold recorded its fourth consecutive weekly gain amid
easing inflationary pressures. However, those same issues may
ultimately be a negative," ANZ analysts said in a note.
    On the technical front, spot gold is biased to retest a
support $1,784 per ounce, a break below which may cause a fall
into a range of $1,767-$1,773, according to Reuters technical
analyst Wang Tao.         
    Elsewhere, spot silver        dropped 1.2% to $20.57 per
ounce, platinum        fell 1.3% to $950.37 and palladium       
was steady at $2,222.23.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Vinay Dwivedi)