Gold eases as dollar resumes rally in run up to Fed decision

(Reuters) - Gold gave up small gains in range-bound trading on Tuesday as the dollar resumed its climb and hit a 20-year high, eroding bullion’s safe-haven appeal on investor bets of aggressive rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bullion is displayed at GoldSilver Central's office in Singapore June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,811.59 per ounce by 1:54 p.m. EDT (1754 GMT), while U.S. gold futures settled down 1% at $1,813.50.

“The main thing driving gold right now is anticipation of a very aggressive Fed when it comes to rates tomorrow, given the recent inflation data,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

The dollar edged higher against a basket of currencies to scale a fresh two-decade high, making gold expensive for overseas buyers. [USD/]

“Short term, this is still looking like a tough environment for gold, but it will eventually resume that safe-haven role. We just need to get beyond this strong dollar,” said Edward Moya, senior analyst with OANDA.

Expectations for a 75 basis point hike at the Fed’s two-day policy meeting jumped to 96%, according to CME’s Fedwatch Tool. Such a hike would be the biggest since 1994, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. [FEDWATCH]

Other data showed the producer price index for final demand rose 0.8% in May after advancing 0.4% in April, the Labor Department said, in line with expectations.

“The successful or unsuccessful race to combat inflation before the economy begins to suffer has become a major theme and one that will determine the ultimate direction of gold,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen wrote in a note.

Silver fell 0.4% to $20.96 per ounce and platinum shed 1.6% to $918.51.

Palladium rose 1.2% to $1,817.57, having hit a near six-month low earlier in the session. “Palladium (and platinum) are hit by the lack of demand from the automotive industry,” according to a client note from Commerzbank.

Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva