* Gold's bullish longer-term fundamentals not changed- analyst * COVID-19 vaccine hopes lift equities * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel Sept 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Monday supported by a weaker dollar, while investors looked forward to the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later this week for more cues on stimulus measures and inflation target. Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,944.69 per ounce by 0647 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,953.20. "The gold market is leaning towards the Fed's (policy)," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, adding that the U.S. central bank might not change the current narrative, but there is a strong belief in the market that it would be able to trigger inflation. The lower interest rate environment and long-term expectations that the Fed is going to increase quantitative easing and weaken the dollar are supporting gold prices, he added. The dollar index eased 0.2% against its rivals, with focus on the Fed's policy announcement on Wednesday. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of other currencies. Market participants are also waiting for the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England's policy decisions, due on Thursday. Major central banks have rolled out unprecedented stimulus measures and kept interest rates low, driving gold to new highs because of its role as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. The European Central Bank's president, Christine Lagarde, said euro zone governments must keep spending heavily to aid the bloc's recovery from its historic pandemic-induced recession, complementing already super-easy monetary policy. "Gold's bullish longer-term fundamentals have not changed," Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note. "Gold has well-denoted support between $1,900 and $1,920 an ounce, with trendline resistance at $1,970." Limiting gold's advance, investors' appetite for riskier assets increased as hopes for a potential COVID-19 vaccine resurfaced after AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial. Silver gained 0.3% to $26.82 per ounce, platinum jumped 1.3% to $936.91, while palladium fell 0.5% to $2,309.14. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi Aich)
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