PRECIOUS-Gold jumps 1% propelled by a weaker dollar

(Adds comment and updates prices)

* Gold remains an attractive bet for investors -analyst

* Silver hits over one-month high

* U.S. dollar tumbles to three-week lows

By Arundhati Sarkar

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices were on the front foot on Tuesday, rising as much as 1%, as a sluggish dollar lifted bullion's appeal in the face of increasing inflation expectations.

Spot gold was up 0.8% at $1,778.76 per ounce by 1224 GMT, after hitting a session high of $1,784.26. U.S. gold futures gained 1% to $1,783.00.

Making gold more attractive for buyers holding other currencies, the dollar retreated, hit by a growing rate-hike bets in other markets.

A weaker dollar is gold supportive and the metal remains an "interesting asset for investors looking to hedge against the risk of inflation going out of control," said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst at Kinesis Money.

He added that, while gold has created a solid support zone between $1,750 and $1,760, "a clear indication from the European Central Bank on tapering could be a negative catalyst for bullion."

Elsewhere, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey sent a fresh signal for early UK rate hikes by saying that the BoE will "have to act" to counter rising inflation risks. In New Zealand, bets for faster policy normalisation were stoked by data showing the fastest consumer-price inflation in more than a decade.

"Inflation expectations have become a dominant factor for gold and the perception that it is more than just transitory ... is supporting the metal," said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Gold is often considered an inflation hedge, though reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to drive up government bond yields, raising non-yielding bullion's opportunity cost.

U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields also eased.

Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 3.1% to $23.88 per ounce, scaling a more than one-month high.

Platinum climbed 1.4% to $1,049.84, and palladium jumped 3.1% to $2,076.52.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Potter and Steve Orlofsky)

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