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[BENGALURU] Gold prices were little changed on Monday, but held near the previous session's low, pressured by a firmer US dollar and expectations of a series of interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve this year and in 2018.
Spot gold was nearly unchanged at US$1,275.63 per ounce at 0431 GMT. On Friday, gold dropped 0.7 per cent for its biggest one-day percentage fall since Oct 26, weighed down by a rise in US Treasury bond yields.
US gold futures for December delivery gained 0.1 per cent to US$1,275.80.
"The sell-off (on Friday) underlines the sensitivity of gold to the US yield curve and further emphasises that the safe haven premium in the gold price is mainly non-existent at the moment," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with Oanda.
"Gold's fate will not be its own as we enter the home stretch of 2017."
The expectation of an interest rate hike by the Fed next month is keeping gold prices range-bound, said Richard Xu, a fund manager at China's biggest gold exchange-traded fund, HuaAn Gold.
"There are talks of three rate hikes next year. That is going to be in our view significant tightening of the monetary policy. Markets are digesting this news and we don't see much of movement in gold prices in the next one or two months."
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Monday in Tokyo that he expects to back an interest rate hike next month and expects the central bank in the United States to raise rates three times next year as long as inflation remains on track.
Higher interest rates tend to boost the US dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
The US dollar inched up as US yields spiked and as the pound stumbled on uncertainty surrounding the fate of British Prime Minister Theresa May's government, although the main investor focus was still on how and when a planned US tax overhaul would pan out.
The head of the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee said on Sunday he would not accept elimination of a federal deduction for state and local taxes, opposing a proposal from Senate Republicans that would hike taxes for some middle class Americans.
Spot gold is biased to retest a support at US$1,263 per ounce, a break below which could open the way towards the next support at US$1,241, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
In other precious metals, silver edged 0.1 per cent higher to US$16.91 per ounce.
Platinum rose 0.4 per cent to US$929.35 an ounce and palladium was up 0.6 per cent, to US$999.50.