PRECIOUS-Gold off one-week lows, U.S. rate hike bets cap gains

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 01/19/22 05:40 AM EST

(Updates prices)

* Global auto recovery to drive a pick-up palladium prices- Citi

* Markets eye Fed's Jan. 25-26 meeting

* Gold stuck in a range -analyst

By Swati Verma

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Wednesday, but moves were fairly contained as the market looked to U.S. Federal Reserve's next policy meeting where it is widely expected to raise rates in an attempt to quell surging inflation.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,817.90 per ounce as of 1217 GMT. U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,817.40.

"The gold market is moving on Fed rate expectations," IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said.

Rodda noted that the ongoing geopolitical considerations including concerns around Ukraine and Russia could be an impetus to buy gold for some, but "in the bigger picture, that issue is minor compared to Fed policy."

Asian and European shares fell, helping safe-haven gold recover from a one-week low of $1,805 an ounce hit on Tuesday.

If yields continue to push higher, it is quite likely that gold will drift down back towards $1,800 an ounce, but gold's still stuck in the same range that it's been in the last few months, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The $1,830 level proves to be fairly insurmountable in the short term, with further gains in yields and the dollar likely to put downward pressure on gold prices."

The U.S. dollar index held near a weekly high, underpinned by a rally in U.S. Treasury yields to two-years highs, on aggressive rate hike bets ahead of Fed's meeting on Jan. 25-26.

Higher interest rates tend to dim the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

Spot silver jumped 1.3% to $23.75 per ounce, platinum rose 1.4% to $994.22 and palladium was up 0.7% at $1,909.85.

A global automotive output recovery is still in the cards, likely driving a pick-up in prices of the auto-catalyst palladium during 2022, although the recovery is increasingly likely to be gradual, Citi Research said in a note. (Reporting by Swati Verma and Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Kavya Guduru; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

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