* Spot gold held its ground at $1,676.80 per ounce, as of 0037 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% at $1,686.70.
* The U.S. Fed, at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, is expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points, with markets even seeing a 19% chance for a 100 bps increase.
* High interest-rate environment increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
* Gold prices weakened on Monday, hovered toward a 29-month low hit on Friday, as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields firmed on expectations of a hefty Fed rate hike.
* Even though the dollar index dipped 0.3%, it wasn’t far from a 20-year high. Stronger greenback makes bullion more expensive for other currency holders.
* The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield held close to its highest level in over a decade scaled on Monday.
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.30% to 957.95 tonnes on Monday from 960.85 tonnes on Friday.
* Spot silver lost 0.7% to $19.48 per ounce. Platinum dipped 0.1% to $918.29 and palladium was down 1.5% at $2,191.75.
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