Gold holds near three-and-a-half week low on Fed rate hike prospects
Gold slipped in early trade on Tuesday to trade near a 3-1/2 week low hit a day earlier, as prices remained under pressure on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates as early as June.
* Spot gold XAU= edged down 0.1 percent to $1,247.30 per ounce by 0056 GMT. The metal fell to $1,242.63 an ounce, the lowest since April 28 on Monday.
* US gold futures GCcv1 dipped 0.3 percent to $1,248 per ounce early on Tuesday
* San Francisco Fed President John Williams said the central bank is on track to hike rates in June or July despite risks such as a "Brexit" vote, and will continue with even more increases next year given US economic strength, a top Fed official said on Monday.
* US rates being kept too low for too long could cause financial instability in future and stronger market expectations for a rate rise are "probably good", St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Monday.
* Goldman Sachs economists said on Monday they estimated a 35 percent chance the Federal Reserve would raise its target on the federal funds rate at its June 14-15 policy meeting.
* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.38 percent to 872.52 tonnes on Monday.
* The dollar index held steady and the greenback was firm at 109.260 yen JPY=, having fallen to as low as 109.120 overnight.
* Russia's largest gold producer, Polyus (PLZL.MM), has evacuated 89 out of 153 of its miners blocked after a landslide at the Vostochny pit of its Olimpiada mine in Siberia, the company said.
* The Fed's policymakers are scheduled to speak this week and are expected to back the case for a rate hike within months. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be at a panel event hosted by Harvard University on Friday.
* Asian shares were nearly flat in early trading on Tuesday, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS did not stray far from its previous close, after Wall Street closed with modest losses overnight.
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