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SINGAPORE: Gold prices were little changed in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors awaited comments on US economic health from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen later in the day.

Spot gold was almost unchanged at $1,738.50 per ounce by 0736 GMT, after declining as much as 0.5% earlier in the day as the US dollar strengthened along with Treasury yields. US gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,738.90 per ounce.

“Based on current levels of Treasury yields as well as the dollar, gold might have overshot its fair trading value. From here, it looks increasingly difficult to rally, especially if Treasury yields continue to rise,” said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.

“This week after the dust is settled and we get a better picture of how individual Fed members are thinking, we will probably have a better idea of Fed’s direction from here and that would pave the way for gold’s direction.”

The US economy is “much improved,” Powell said on Monday, but at the same time warned that the recovery was still “far from complete.”

The dollar index was up 0.1% against a basket of currencies, supported by firm US Treasury yields.

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