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PRECIOUS-Gold down on profit-taking; stocks rally after Fed holds rates

* Spot gold may retest key resistance at $1,338 -technicals
    * SPDR Gold holdings rose 0.60 pct Wednesday
    * Silver off 2-week highs hit early in the day
    * Palladium off highest since Sept 8

 (Updates prices)
    By Swati Verma
    BENGALURU, Sept 22 Gold prices fell on Thursday
as investors booked profits after a more than 1.5 percent rise
in the previous session, opting for riskier assets like equities
as the U.S. Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates.
    The U.S. central bank, however, strongly signalled it could
still tighten monetary policy by year-end as the labour market
improved further. 
    Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,332.70 an ounce
by 0632 GMT, while U.S. gold futures rose 0.4 percent to
$1,337.30 an ounce. 
    "People are expecting that the Fed is going to raise rates
for sure in December. So, they have started to take profits,"
said Richard Xu, a fund manager at HuaAn Gold,
China's top gold exchange-traded fund (ETF).
    "The first phase of a gold run, which is largely driven by
the Fed's inaction to raise rates, is over. The market is now
looking three months ahead and taking positions accordingly."
    Still, spot gold may retest a key resistance at $1,338 per
ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and Fibonacci projection
analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
 
    "The rate environment looks less accommodative even it
remains on a more gradual slope, meaning that oversized rallies
in gold may not have much room to run," INTL FCStone analyst
Edward Meir said in a note.
    The ongoing strength in equities could also hurt gold's
prospects, Meir added.
    Asian shares surged on Thursday, taking their cue from Wall
Street, slugging the dollar and lifting most commodity prices.
 
    "Indications out of the Federal Reserve that a 2016 rate
increase is still very much a live possibility may restrict
gains to gold above $1,340," said Sam Laughlin, precious metals
trader with MKS PAMP Group.
    "Initial support for the metal sits toward $1,330 ... while
resistance toward $1,340 is keeping a lid on any moves higher."
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.60 percent to 944.39
tonnes on Wednesday. 
    Among other precious metals, spot silver was down 0.3
percent at $19.75 an ounce after touching a two-week high early
in the session. The metal rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday.
    Platinum fell 0.2 percent to $1,046.49 per ounce. It
rose more than 2 percent in the prior session to touch its
highest since early last week at $1,056.60.
    Palladium rose 0.3 percent to $685.25. It hit a near
two-week high of $694.30 in the past session.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;
Editing by Tom Hogue and Subhranshu Sahu)

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