GOLD prices held near two-week highs on Tuesday, with the dollar losing its grip on recent six-month peak, heading into this week's central bank meetings that kick off with the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day.
Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,930.39 per ounce by 0638 GMT, but hovered near its highest since Sept. 5 hit earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures edged down 0.1% to $1,951.60.
The U.S. dollar was off last week's highs, making gold less expensive for overseas buyers, ahead of key central bank policy decisions by the United States, Britain and Japan over the week.
While the Fed is overwhelmingly expected to keep rates unchanged when it announces its policy decision on Wednesday, centre of attention would be on their outlook for futures rates.
"Fed Chair Powell's speech is likely to highlight that inflation risks have not gone away but they are in a wait-and-see mode for inflation," said Michael Langford, chief investment officer at Scorpion Minerals.
The low inventories of gasoline and diesel globally form a material risk in the short term to inflation targets, Langford said.
Non-interest-bearing gold could see its appeal dim if the Fed further raises rates to control inflation.
"Should inflation become increasingly sticky, fuelled by robust consumer spending and tight labour market, the Fed may be forced to keep rates elevated for longer or even hike again to bring it to the target," said Kirill Kirilenko, a senior analyst at London-based consultancy CRU.
"Against this background, gold bulls may struggle to spark a strong price rally until the market becomes increasingly confident that the Fed is ready to ease its grip and loosen financial conditions, something we do not expect to happen in 2023."
In other metals, spot silver fell 0.2% to $23.18 per ounce, platinum eased 0.3% to $930.15 and palladium jumped 0.5% to $1,242.01. - Reuters