PRECIOUS-Gold eases into tight range near $1,800 on taper uncertainty

* Platinum hits an over nine-month low of $925.50/oz

* UBS lowers palladium price forecast to $2,000/oz (Adds comment, updates prices)

Sept 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Wednesday consolidated in a tight range near the key $1,800 level as softer U.S. inflation data fed uncertainty about the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,801.97 per ounce by 1133 GMT, just below a one week peak of $1,808.50 hit on Tuesday, in part because the dollar recovered some ground following a slide driven by the inflation data.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,803.40.

A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for other currency holders.

“Gold received a small boost from the lower-than-expected CPI yesterday, but even though we got the bond yields retracing from their recent highs it has not been enough to attract the renewed demand for gold,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.

“However, risk to the downside for gold is also limited since the slowdown in inflation thereby reduces the pace with which tapering can be carried out, when it is eventually rolled out towards the end of this year,” he said.

Underlying U.S. consumer prices increased at their slowest pace in six months in August, lending credence to the Fed’s view that high levels of inflation were transitory.

Focus now shifts to the Fed’s two-day monetary policy meeting next week for more cues on tapering.

Platinum hit a more than nine-month low of $925.50 per ounce and was last down 0.2% at $941.02.

Palladium gained 2.8% to $2,033.94, after falling to a more than one-year low on Tuesday. The metal has fallen in excess of $400 so far this month.

Meanwhile, UBS lowered its palladium price forecast to $2,000/oz, saying the metal’s price path will depend very much on how long the global chip shortage lasts.

Both platinum and palladium are used by automakers in catalytic converters to clean car exhaust fumes.

Silver was down 0.2% at $23.78 per ounce. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru Editing by Jon Boyle and Mark Potter)