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Gold falls on Russia-Ukraine talks, markets await Fed rate hike announcement

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By Bharat Gautam

March 15 (Reuters) – Gold extended losses on Tuesday as ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine reduced demand for safe-haven assets, while bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates for the first time in three years they added pressure to the metal.

* Spot gold fell 1.2% to $1,928.58 an ounce by 1032 GMT, after hitting its lowest level since March 3 at $1,924.56 an ounce earlier in the session.

* US futures fell 1.5% to $1,930.70 a month.

* “Little hope that Ukraine-Russia talks will somehow lead to a de-escalation has weighed on gold demand,” said ActivTrades senior analyst Ricardo Evangelista.

* While gold is experiencing a bit of a lull, the Ukraine situation is still developing and market volatility and uncertainty are likely to remain quite high, Evangelista added.

* Gold prices are expected to fall for the third consecutive session on Tuesday, which could mark their longest losing streak since late January.

* On the macro front, analysts expect the Fed to raise borrowing costs by a quarter of a percentage point by the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

* Among other precious metals, spot palladium added 1.7% to $2,428.72 an ounce, after its weakest session in two years on Monday as supply fears eased.

* Spot silver was down 1.8% at $24.58 an ounce, while platinum was down 1.8% at $1,012.04 an ounce.

(Reporting from Bharat Govind Gautam in Bangalore. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

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