Gold retains gains near $1,175 on dollar weakness

SINGAPORE: Gold clung to overnight gains on Wednesday, supported by weakness in the dollar and global equities, as investors awaited clues on when the Federal Reserve will raise US rates.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,176.40 an ounce by 0038 GMT. The metal gained 0.5 percent in the previous session, snapping a three-day losing streak.

* Bullion gained as the euro rose against the dollar on Tuesday, bolstered by solid regional economic data and comments from European Central Bank (ECB) officials suggesting further monetary easing may not be imminent. [USD/]

* A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, while also increasing its appeal as a hedge.

* Weakness in equity markets also triggered some safe-haven bids for gold. Wall Street ended lower on Tuesday on soft corporate earnings, while Asian equities got off to a sluggish start on Wednesday. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Despite gains, gold was still trading below a 3-1/2-month high hit last week.

* With gold now back at its 200-day moving average near $1,175, some expect more gains though trading could be quiet ahead of the ECB policy meet on Thursday and Fed meet next week.

* Investors will be closely monitoring US data and comments from Fed officials on monetary policy to gauge when the U.S. central bank could raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

* Market expectations for a rate hike have shifted to next year in recent weeks amid concerns about the global economy, although some haven't completely ruled out a hike in December.

* Uncertainty over the timing of a U.S. rate hike has weighed on gold, a non-interest-paying asset.

* Gold prices, which hit a near four-month high of $1,190.63 an ounce last week, are expected to slip to $1,159.88 by October 2016, delegates to the London Bullion Market Association's annual gathering predicted on Tuesday.

* For the top stories on metals and other news, click [TOP/MTL] or [GOL]

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

No major data due on Wednesday

PRICES AT 0038 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg

Spot gold 1176.4 0.7 0.06

Spot silver 15.9 0.02 0.13

Spot platinum 1020.1 4.86 0.48

Spot palladium 691.77 0.27 0.04

Comex gold 1176.6 -0.9 -0.08

Comex silver 15.895 -0.022 -0.14

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months