By Seher Dareen

Feb 21 (Reuters) – Gold prices fell on Tuesday as the dollar rose as investors waited for fresh U.S. economic data to gauge the Federal Reserve’s rate hike strategy.

* As of 0952 GMT, spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,835.70 an ounce, and US gold futures were down 0.4% at 1,843, $10.

* The dollar index hit its highest level in six weeks, making bullion – at the price of the greenback – more expensive for buyers of other currencies.

* “Gold’s main driver continues to shift expectations for the Fed’s next monetary policy actions, of which there may be more hints in the FOMC minutes,” said Han Tan, chief analyst markets at Exinity, referring to the Federal Open Market. US Central Bank Committee for its acronym in English.

* “If the US economy continues to defy Fed rate hikes, it could lead to higher rates, much to the chagrin of bullion bulls,” he added.

* This week, the focus will be on the release of the January FOMC meeting minutes on Wednesday, followed by US gross domestic product data on Thursday and the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index on Friday.

* The price of gold hit its highest level since April 2022 earlier in the month at $1,959.6 but has since lost around $130 after US data showed signs of a resilient economy.

* In other precious metals, silver rose 0.2% to $21.79 an ounce; platinum rose 0.1% to $927.30; and palladium fell 1.1% to $1,494.25. (Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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