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PRECIOUS-Gold retreats as dollar slide halts; dovish Fed lends support

    * Dollar set for fourth consecutive monthly decline
    * Gold on track for first monthly fall in five
    * Silver heads for fifth straight monthly rise
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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 (Recasts, updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Aug 31 (Reuters) - Gold reversed course to trade lower on
Monday as the dollar recouped some losses, although the U.S.
Federal Reserve's new policy framework that suggested interest
rates would remain near zero for some time limited losses for
the safe-haven bullion.
    Spot gold        was down 0.2% to $1,961.54 per ounce by
0724 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 19 at $1,976.14
in early Asian trade. Gold was down 0.5% so far this month.
    U.S. gold futures         fell 0.3% to $1,968.80.
    Weighing on gold, the dollar index        steadied against a
basket of major currencies but was on track for a fourth
consecutive monthly decline.             
    "Choppiness in the U.S. dollar will spill over into how gold
trades," said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda.
    "The greenback took a big spill on Friday as market
participants digested what was coming out of the Jackson Hole
Symposium, and the knock-on benefits to gold are still being
felt." 
    The Fed's new monetary policy strategy suggested that the
U.S. central bank's key overnight interest rate, already near
zero, would stay there for potentially years to come as
policymakers woo higher inflation.             
    Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of
holding nonyielding bullion.
    Gold has gained nearly 30% so far this year, notching an
all-time high of $2,072.50 earlier this month, as investors seek
to buy the metal as a hedge against possible inflation and
currency debasement due to unprecedented money printing by
central banks.
    "Gold is expected to retest the old highs again. I don't
think anything has changed in terms of the underlined
fundamentals," said Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital
Markets.
    Elsewhere, silver        jumped 1.2% to $27.82 per ounce and
was heading for a fifth straight monthly gain, up more than 14%.
    Platinum        was steady at $931.33 and palladium       
gained 0.4% to $2,214.54.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Uttaresh.V)
  
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