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PRECIOUS-Gold range-bound as focus shifts to Fed policy decision

    * Ultra-dovish views from Powell can boost gold to $1,880
-analyst
    * Global coronavirus cases surpass 100 million
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    Jan 27 (Reuters) - Gold traded in a narrow range on
Wednesday as market participants awaited the U.S. Federal
Reserve's monetary policy decision and developments around a
coronavirus stimulus package in the world's largest economy.
    Spot gold        was down 0.1% to $1,848.60 per ounce by
0744 GMT. U.S. gold futures        eased 0.2% to $1,846.60.
    "Gold appears to be in a holding pattern as investors are
waiting for the Fed," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market
analyst at OANDA.
    The U.S. central bank is expected to stand pat on policy
when it announces its decision at 1900 GMT. Investors will be
watching for comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for clues
on the state of the economy. 
    "If Powell remains ultra-dovish and indicates they have no
intention of tapering, that can boost gold up to $1,880,
although if he sounds optimistic about the economic recovery,
gold can touch near $1,800 levels," Halley said.
    Easy monetary policy adds pressure on government bond yields
and benefits non-yielding gold.
    Also in focus was U.S. President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion
stimulus plan, which has been met with objections from
Republicans over the price tag.             
    "The new round of fiscal stimulus may not arrive before
mid-March, which is later than what the market had expected...
so eventually we may see a delayed and smaller stimulus, which
is not good for gold," said DailyFX strategist Margaret Yang.
    Gold will trade range-bound between $1,810 and $1,870 in the
near term, Yang said, adding that in the medium term, the
economic recovery might push yields higher along with inflation,
which would be bearish for bullion.
    Lending some support to gold were worries over a surge in
global coronavirus cases, which surpassed 100 million, as
countries struggle with vaccine shortfalls.             
    Silver        fell 0.3% to $25.37 an ounce, platinum       
shed 0.7% to $1,091.01 and palladium        eased 0.4% to
$2,316.60.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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