May 1, 2019 / 10:24 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices ease as equities gain before U.S. Fed decision

* U.S. central bank to announce rate decision at 1800 GMT

* Trump, Democrats agree $2 trillion infrastructure spending

* Dollar slips for fourth straight session to one-week low (Updates prices)

By K. Sathya Narayanan

May 1 (Reuters) - Gold inched down on Wednesday after investors developed more appetite for riskier equities before the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision due later in the day.

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,281.96 per ounce at 1143 GMT, while U.S. gold futures slipped 0.2 percent to $1,283.70 an ounce.

"The pick up we saw in stock markets overnight is limiting demand in the gold market," said Ole Hansen, commodity strategist at Saxo Bank. "Gold is range bound and there no major trigger right now to move higher."

Global equities were higher on Wednesday, extending the global equity market rally into a fifth month as investors cheered Apple's strong results.

Major U.S. indexes gained overnight, after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed with Democratic leaders to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure.

"Gold is more focused on what equity markets are doing and if equities continue higher gold will trade lower despite a weaker dollar," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

The dollar slipped 0.1 percent to its lowest in a week against key rivals, weakening for the fourth straight session, after posting its biggest daily percentage decline in more than a month on Tuesday.

A dip in the U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

Investors are awaiting the end of a two-day meeting by the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), after the central bank ended its three-year policy tightening drive last month, ditching projections for any interest rate hikes this year.

"The market is predominantly looking for no change from the Fed. The key could be the wording of the statement, for any moves away from the dovish tone from the last time," Saxo Bank's Hansen said.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar.

"Prices are playing on the support level of $1,280, with potential for a further decline to $1,266 in case of a hawkish Federal Reserve," ActiveTrades Chief Analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said in a note on the gold price.

"A dovish statement could give a lift to price for another attack to the $1,300 level," he added.

Palladium fell about 1.9 percent to $1,361.94 an ounce. Silver was down 0.8 percent to $14.82 per ounce, while platinum prices dropped 0.7 percent to $879.80. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Edmund Blair)

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