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PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher as dollar eases, investors await Fed meet

(Adds comment, updates prices)

* Higher inflation data tests Fed’s transitory inflation view

* Gold stuck in range-bound trade, Fed in focus - analyst

* Platinum, palladium jump 3%

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices ticked up on Monday, as the dollar eased, ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting where the focus is on the central bank’s plan for tapering its pandemic stimulus measures.

Spot gold was up 0.3% to $1,787.70 per ounce at 1303 GMT after touching a more than one-week low in the previous session. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.4% to $1,790.00 per ounce.

“Gold had a sharp fall on Friday and it went into oversold territory, so what you’ve got is a little bit of bargain hunting,” StoneX analyst Rhona O’Connell said, adding a dip in the U.S. dollar was adding support to bullion.

However, prices of the precious metal have been wavering between slight losses and gains through the day.

“We need some fresh air coming into markets and this week’s Fed meeting could be such an event ... until then the market will be drifting,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.

“We already are seeing the markets pricing in a rate hike around May or June next year, which is almost a year earlier than what the market was expecting a few months ago, and that has been the latest challenge for gold.”

Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

The Fed, which concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, is expected to say it will start to taper bond purchases, though the focus is on clues about rates lift-off.

The dollar index slipped 0.1% against its rivals, making gold more appealing to holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.3% to $23.91 per ounce.

Platinum jumped 2.8% to $1,046.96 per ounce and palladium also rose 2.8% to $2,059.19 per ounce. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens)

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