PRECIOUS-Gold prices slip ahead of Fed minutes

    * Dollar index inches up ahead of Fed minutes
    * Fed May FOMC minutes due at 1800 GMT

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Karen Rodrigues
    BENGALURU, May 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on
Wednesday, pressured by a firm dollar ahead of the release of
the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting.  
    Spot gold        was 0.1 percent lower at $1,289.71 per
ounce as of 0645 GMT. 
    U.S. gold futures         for June delivery were down 0.2
percent at $1,289.40 per ounce.
    "We were quite steady this morning, but are running out of
steam with dollar being quite firm," a Hong Kong-based trader
    "We want to see what FOMC minutes have in store for us... I
think (investors) are looking at anything out of the ordinary
that could raise the market," the trader said. 
    The dollar inched higher versus a basket of currencies
      , with investors awaiting minutes of the Federal Reserve's
last policy meeting due later in the day for hints on the pace
of further U.S. monetary tightening.        
    At the previous policy meeting in May, the U.S. central bank
expressed confidence in the economy and kept its benchmark
lending rate unchanged and said inflation was near the bank's
target, leaving it on track to raise borrowing costs in June.
    The markets will shift to the FOMC minutes for inflation
updates as any suggestion that the Feds do see a pick-up beyond
their 2 percent target could be interpreted bullishly for gold,
which should find support as an inflation hedge, Stephen Innes,
APAC trading head at OANDA, said in a note.
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. rates, as these tend
to boost the dollar in which the metal is priced.  
    If investors do not like anything in particular in the Fed's
wording, the dollar could resume its recent rally and possibly
put pressure on gold, INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a
    Meanwhile, investors were also cautious about the outcome of
U.S.-China trade talks, after U.S. President Donald Trump said
he was not pleased with recent talks, which had lent support to
prices earlier in the session.             
    Trump also said there was a "substantial chance" his summit
with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will not take place as
planned on June 12 amid concerns that Kim is resistant to giving
up his nuclear weapons.             
    Political tensions can boost demand for save-haven assets
such as gold and the Japanese yen.
    In other precious metals, silver        was little changed
at $16.52 an ounce and platinum        was 0.1 percent higher at
$904.10 an ounce. 
    Palladium        slid 0.2 percent to $988.75 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)

Source: PRECIOUS-Gold prices slip ahead of Fed minutes

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