Gold Prices Slip Ahead of Fed Meeting – Gold prices slipped on Monday in Asia ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to shed more light on the outlook for U.S. interest rate hikes this year.

Gold Futures were down 0.3% at $1,298.65 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange by 11:39 PM ET (03:39 GMT).

The Fed is due to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday. The central bank is widely expected to keep monetary policy unchanged at the end of its two-day policy meeting and policymakers will also update their projections for future rate hikes.

In January, the U.S. central bank indicated that it will be patient as it considers more rate hikes, amid concerns over slowing global growth.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.1% at 96.48.

Meanwhile, renewed optimism over prospects for a U.S.-China trade deal was cited as a headwind for the safe-haven metal on Monday.

The Xinhua news agency said last Friday that China and the U.S. have made further progress toward striking a deal.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had a telephone conversation with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last Thursday, the report added, without giving further details.

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