Gold flat ahead of Fed meeting for direction on rate hikes



Jan 24 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Monday, as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting for confirmation on its interest rate hike path, while concerns over inflation and Russia-Ukraine tensions keeping bullion's safe-haven allure intact.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was flat at $1,833.36 per ounce by 0034 GMT. U.S. gold futures GCv1 were up 0.2% to $1,834.70.

* The Fed will tighten monetary policy at a much faster pace than thought a month ago to tame persistently high inflation, now viewed by economists polled by Reuters as the biggest threat to the U.S. economy over the coming year.

* The U.S. central bank's Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet on Jan. 25-26.

* Gold is generally seen as an inflationary hedge, but it is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increases the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing bullion.

* Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR dropped on Friday, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing bullion.

* Russia will face severe economic sanctions if it installs a puppet regime in Ukraine, a senior British minister said on Sunday after the UK accused the Kremlin of seeking to install a pro-Russian leader there.

* Gold was sold at a discount in India last week, as a rise in domestic prices dulled demand and jewellers looked ahead to the country's annual budget, while the upcoming Lunar New Year spurred demand in other key Asian centres.

* Spot silver XAG= was flat at $24.23 an ounce. Palladium XPD= fell 0.3% to $2,101.56 and platinum XPT= was up 0.2% to $1,031.43.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0815 France Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Jan 0830 Germany Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Jan 0900 EU

Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Jan 0930 UK

Flash Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Jan 1445 US

Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Jan
Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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