(Recasts, changes comments and updates prices)
* Fed policy statement due at 1400 GMT
* Platinum, palladium rise about 0.5%
Nov 3 (Reuters) – Gold prices eased on Wednesday, ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve decision, as investors await cues on the U.S. central bank’s plan to taper its pandemic-induced stimulus amid signs of rising inflation.
Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,780.60 per ounce by 0937 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.4% to $1,782.10 per ounce.
“Markets are expecting the Fed will announce the start of tapering today and are also pricing in rate hikes for next year, not only from the Fed but also from the European Central Bank,” said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig.
“There might be a little bit of hesitancy, some late doubts, on whether the FOMC will really decide on tapering,” said Fertig, adding the crucial question will be about how much they will reduce the monthly bond purchases.
The Fed policy announcement is due at 1400 GMT. The central bank is likely to begin paring its monthly asset purchases by $15 billion each month, bringing them to an end by mid-2022.
Market participants are also eyeing a Bank of England policy meeting on Thursday after data suggested unemployment is unlikely to rise sharply, bolstering the case for a rate hike.
“Gold’s choppy range trading continues ahead of the FOMC, with the wider $1770.00 to $1810.00 range continuing to contain nicely,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Prices of the metal have been wavering between slight losses and gains this week, and analysts have said the Fed decision could be the event that pushes gold out of its range-bound trade.
Elsewhere, spot silver edged up 0.1% to $23.54 per ounce. Platinum rose 0.6% to $1,044.27 per ounce and Palladium gained 0.5% to $2,021.71 per ounce.
Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri