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PRECIOUS-Gold hits 2-1/2-year low as dollar stands tall

          Sept 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell to a new 2-1/2-year
low on Monday, weighed down by a sturdy dollar and prospects of
further interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve to bring
down inflation.
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was down 0.3% at $1,638.59 per ounce, as
of 0053 GMT, after hitting its lowest level since April 2020
earlier in the session.
    * U.S. gold futures        fell 0.6% to $1,645.8.
    * The dollar index        scaled a fresh peak since 2002
buoyed by a hawkish Fed, making the greenback-priced bullion
more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
    * Higher interest rates dull bullion's appeal since the
metal yields no interest. Gold prices have fallen more than 20%
since scaling above the key $2,000 per-ounce mark in March.
    * Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Sunday he
still believes the U.S. central bank can tame inflation without
substantial job losses given the economy's continued momentum.

    * A downturn in business activity across the euro zone
deepened in September, according to a survey which showed the
economy was likely entering a recession as consumers rein in
spending amid a cost of living crisis.
    * Gold premiums in top consumer China climbed last week,
helped by strong demand for bullion, while prices in India
traded at a discount for the first time in four weeks due to an
uptick in domestic rates.
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.31% to 947.23 tonnes on
Friday.
    * Spot silver        fell 0.8% to $18.68 per ounce, platinum
       rose 0.7% to $860.13, and palladium        gained 0.4% to
$2,076.10.
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0800   Germany   Ifo Business Climate New   Sep
    0800   Germany   Ifo Curr Conditions New    Sep
    0800   Germany   Ifo Expectations New       Sep
    0535   Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to deliver
    speech, meet business leaders in Osaka
    1300   Introductory statement by ECB President Christine
    Lagarde at the hearing before the Committee on Economic and
    Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament in Brussels
 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)

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