Gold flat as investors brace for Evergrande risks, Fed policy decision



Sept 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices were flat on Wednesday amid rising uncertainties triggered by China Evergrande's debt crisis and anticipation of policy cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve on its timeline for reducing stimulus for the world's largest economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was flat at $1,775.63 per ounce, as of 0120 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 dipped 0.1% to $1,776.30.

* Fed's two-day meet is due to conclude on Wednesday as investors focus on any new signals on when a taper may begin. The U.S. central bank is also likely to provide an outlook on interest rate hikes.

* While gold is considered as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement amid widespread stimulus, a hawkish move by the Fed would diminish gold's appeal. An eventual interest rate hike would also raise the opportunity cost of holding the non-interest bearing asset.

* Asian stock markets made a cautious start on Wednesday, while the dollar held firm near one-month high.

* European Central Bank policymakers still see the recent inflation surge as temporary but a growing number appear to be acknowledging the risk that price growth may exceed their relatively benign projections.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.1% to 1,000.79 tonnes on Tuesday from 1,001.66 tonnes on Monday.

* Swiss exports of gold to India jumped to a five-month high in August while shipments to China fell, Swiss customs data showed on Tuesday.

* Silver XAG= climbed 1.2% to $22.74 per ounce, while palladium XPD= edged 0.2% higher to $1,910.34.

* Platinum XPT= was steady at $954.28. Prices rose 4.7% on Tuesday, its biggest one-day gain since Feb. 10.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1400 EU Consumer Confid. Flash Sept 1400 US Existing Home Sales

Aug 1800 US Federal Open Market Committee announces its decision on interest rates followed by statement Governing Council of the ECB holds non-monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt


Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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