Gold Dips Slightly as Investors Eye Mid-Week Fed Meeting

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices settled little changed on Monday as investors prepare for the latest policy announcement by the Federal Reserve.

Gold for June delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped $1.80 to $1,299 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,306.60 and as low as $1,292.10 an ounce, while the spot price was losing $6.50, or 0.5%.

"[G]enerally the market continues to feel heavy ahead of this week's [Federal] Open Market Committee meeting, as well as non-farm payroll numbers for April," Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals, wrote in a note on Monday.

Many economists expect the Fed on Wednesday to continue to scale back its monthly purchases of mortgage backed securities and longer-term Treasuries. Such a move, though largely expected by gold traders, would put pressure on the yellow metal as it would further remove inflation concerns triggered by the central bank's loose monetary policy.

Investors also will prepare for the April jobs report, due Friday. Economists polled by Bloomberg are expecting payrolls to rise by 215,000 and for the unemployment rate to dip to 6.6% from 6.7%.

A stronger-than-anticipated report could hurt gold because of the precious metal's appeal as a hedge against a struggling economy. Though, gold could get a huge boost if payrolls come in well below Wall Street's prediction.

Silver prices for May delivery dipped 10 cents to $19.59 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was decreasing 0.09% to $79.69.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was off 0.45% at $124.86 a share, while iShares Gold Trust (IAU) was sliding 0.4% to $12.57 a share.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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