LONDON (Reuters) – Gold rose for a second straight session on Tuesday as the dollar dropped ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that investors are betting will leave interest rates unchanged.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,314.76 an ounce by 0955 GMT, with U.S. gold futures gaining 0.1 percent to $1,319.10.
“Gold should remain supported as long as it holds above $1,300 an ounce … but that level could be easily broken if the Fed surprises with a rate hike tomorrow,” ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa said.
“If not, we could see a $10 rebound after the Fed meeting.”
Investors will listen closely to Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech at the end of the meeting on Wednesday for any hint that the central bank could raise rates before the end of the year.
A range of mixed economic figures and conflicting remarks by key Fed policymakers have kept investors guessing over the timing of the next U.S. rate increase.
Only a 12 percent chance of a rate rise is priced in now, compared with 24 percent last week, CME FedWatch said.
Rising U.S. interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and boost the dollar, making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
The dollar was down 0.1 percent against a basket of six main currencies as investors also awaited the outcome of a Bank of Japan policy meeting this week.
Japan’s central bank also meets on Tuesday and Wednesday, and could make negative interest rates the primary focus of its monetary policy, moving away from quantitative easing.
Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,313 to $1,319 an ounce and an escape could point a direction, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
In other news, Swiss gold imports from Hong Kong last month hit their highest since records began in 2012, while combined shipments to Hong Kong and China hit their lowest since April, data from the Swiss customs bureau showed on Tuesday.
Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.3 percent to $19.19 an ounce, building on a gain of nearly 2 percent in the previous session.
Platinum was up 0.5 percent at $1,026.25 and Palladium rose 0.6 percent to $687, extending a 2 percent increase on Monday.