July 31, 2018
PRECIOUS-Gold prices mixed ahead of central bank decisions
(Reuters) - Gold prices traded sideways in a narrow range on Tuesday, with investors in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the outcome of central bank monetary policy meetings.
Spot gold was unchanged at $1,221.24 an ounce at 0340 GMT.
U.S. gold futures were 0.1 percent lower at $1,219.80 an ounce.
Investors are awaiting a Bank of Japan monetary policy decision on Tuesday. The bank is expected to trim its inflation forecasts and consider changes to its massive stimulus programme, reflecting a growing recognition it will take longer than expected to meet its elusive price goal.
The yen see-sawed against the dollar as investors eagerly awaited the outcome. The greenback was nearly unchanged versus the yen.
Later in the day, the U.S. Federal Reserve begins its two-day monetary policy meeting. The central bank is widely expected to stand pat on monetary policy but investors will be looking for clues on the bank's rate hike path.
"There's no clear direction for investors to really play on, and I suppose until there's a bit more clarity from the U.S. Federal Reserve in particular I think that's going to remain the case," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.
"We could see some support return post the meeting...I'll be looking for a rebound post the meeting, particularly as they're not as hawkish as they have been in the past," Hynes said.
The U.S. central bank has raised benchmark lending rates twice this year and signalled two more increases by the year's end.
Higher U.S. rates tend to boost the dollar, making greenback-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England is seen raising rates when it concludes a meeting on Thursday.
Spot gold is biased to fall into a range of $1,206-$1,214 per ounce, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said.
Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.4 percent to $15.42 an ounce, platinum was nearly unchanged at $824.35 and palladium was 0.2 percent lower at $927.35.