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NEW YORK: Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday helped by a weaker dollar, while investors held back from making large bets ahead of a widely expected 75-basis-point rate-hike decision from the US Federal Reserve.

Spot gold edged up 0.1% at $1,649.00 per ounce by 10:45 a.m. ET (1445 GMT), while US gold futures was also up 0.1% at $1,651.70.

The dollar index was down 0.1% against its rivals, making gold less expensive for overseas investors.

The anticipation of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee meeting), and possibly backing off from aggressive rate hikes is moving the gold market, said Daniel Pavilonis, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

The Fed is due to release its policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), but traders’ focus will be on commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell later.

Meanwhile, US private payrolls increased more than expected in October, providing an example of labour market resilience and suggesting that the Fed could continue to be aggressive.

Also on the radar – the US non-farm payrolls report is due on Friday, which could offer more clarity on the Fed rate-hike path.

Traders are split on the odds of a 50-bps or 75-bps rate hike in December, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

Among other precious metals, spot silver slipped 0.1% to $19.64 per ounce, after climbing to a three-week peak on Tuesday.

Platinum rose around 1% to $951.75, while palladium fell 0.9% to $1,864.00.

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