April 29, 2020 / 2:05 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold ticks up on weaker dollar; Fed decision awaited

    April 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher on Wednesday
as the dollar weakened amid plans to ease major economies out of
coronavirus lockdowns, while investors awaited any forward
guidance from the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement due
later in the day. 
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.1% to $1,708.53 per ounce by 0126
GMT. U.S. gold futures        climbed 0.2% to $1,725.50 per
ounce.
    * The dollar        slipped, having touched a two-week low
in the previous session, as the slowing spread of the
coronavirus and moves to re-open economies supported the
investor mood, ahead of major central bank meetings.       
    * Many countries tiptoed out of lockdowns, while more parts
of the United States looked set to restart business after
restrictions to curb the spread of virus dented the economy.
                         
    * Asian equities made cautious gains in early trade
following mixed U.S. corporate earnings.                  
            
    * The Fed, which has responded to the current crisis by
slashing interest rates, resuming bond-buying and backstopping
credit markets, is scheduled to issue a policy statement at 1800
GMT and could begin to clarify how long it intends to leave
rates near zero.               
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    * U.S. consumer confidence tumbled to near a six-year low in
April as tough coronavirus restrictions sharply disrupted
economic activity and threw millions of Americans out of work.
                        
    * The U.S. coronavirus death toll reached a grim milestone
on Tuesday, surpassing the number of American lives lost in the
Vietnam War, as Florida's governor met with President Donald
Trump to discuss easing shutdowns.                         
    * Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)          told staff on
Tuesday it would close its metals business, drawing the curtain
on one of the most venerable names in precious metals trading,
two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
                        
    * Palladium        rose 0.3% to $1,921.81 an ounce and   
platinum        climbed 0.2% to $773.67 per ounce, while silver
       fell 0.3% to $15.15 per ounce. 

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0900  EU         Consumer Confid. Final          April
1200  Germany    CPI, HICP Prelim YY             April
1230  U.S.       GDP Advance                     Q1
1800  U.S. Federal Open Market Committee announces its decision 
on interest rates followed by a statement
1830  U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds 
news conference on interest rate policy    

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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