Gold prices slip on stronger dollar, Fed taper talks

A goldsmith arranges golden bangles at a jewellery shop in Istanbul

By Arundhati Sarkar

(Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Thursday as a stronger dollar and fears over early tapering of stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve weighed on sentiment, although losses for the safe-haven metal were limited by concern rising COVID-19 cases will slow global growth.

Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,780.81 per ounce by 1435 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,782.30.

"The dollar is trading higher, but gold is creeping back up with a bit of a boost mainly because of the turmoil in the equity markets," said ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir.

Safe-haven gains for the U.S. dollar weighed on gold's appeal, as the greenback rose to a nine-month high against its rivals, making gold more expensive for other currency holders. [USD/]

The minutes from the Fed's July meeting showed officials expected they could ease stimulus this year, even though there was division over the labour market recovery.

"The only thing that is not clear as yet is when this (taper) might happen. Nonetheless, tapering has once again been priced in to gold now," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

Taper talks and concerns over rising COVID-19 Delta variant cases hammered risk sentiment in wider financial markets, driving investors towards safe-haven assets. [MKTS/GLOB]

"Gold's role as a safe haven is looking fairly secure, following the sell-off in risk assets across the board," OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said.

Meanwhile, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 17-month low last week, underscoring recent views from Fed officials about labour market recovery.

Elsewhere, silver fell 0.9% to $23.28 per ounce.

Platinum edged 2.5% lower to $969.92, and palladium shed 3.2% to $2,348.05, its lowest level since mid-March.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis)