Gold falls as dollar inches higher; Fed minutes fail to surprise



* Gold's response to Fed minutes disappointing - analyst

* SPDR gold ETF holdings rose on Wednesday

* Fed set to hike rates by 50 bps again in June and July

By Bharat Gautam

May 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices dropped on Thursday as the dollar edged higher, with some investors cashing in after minutes of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting showed that the central bank was likely to stay the course on interest-rate hikes.

Spot gold XAU= dipped 0.5% to $1,844.15 per ounce, by 0546 GMT, as a firmer dollar hurt demand for greenback-priced bullion for buyers holding other currencies. U.S. gold futures GCv1 eased 0.2% to $1,843.30.

The Fed's commitment to raising rates has affected gold a little, with some profits being taken as the news sinks in, and prices could drop to $1,820 or so, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.

Gold cut some dollar strength-driven losses on Wednesday after notes from the Fed's May meeting suggested the central bank would not get more aggressive, and would raise interest rates again by 50 basis points in June and July to combat inflation.

In the longer term, however, investors that know a recession is looming are looking at something of high value that can tide them through this period, and gold will shine, Lan said.

Higher short-term U.S. interest rates and bond yields raise the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which yields nothing. Gold is, however, seen as a safe-haven asset during financial crises.

It was positive for gold that the Fed will put in two more half-percentage-point hikes and then wait to see its economic impact, so gold's response has been quiet disappointing, said Michael McCarthy, chief strategy officer at Tiger Brokers, Australia.

SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.2% to 1,069.81 tonnes on Wednesday from 1,068.07 tonnes in the prior day.

Spot silver XAG= dipped 1% to $21.74 per ounce, platinum XPT= eased 0.4% to $939.59, and palladium XPD= slipped 0.5% to $1,996.70.
Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V

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