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PRECIOUS-Gold drifts off 14-month peak as investors focus on Fed
Published at 17/06/2019 at 14:11

* SPDR Gold holdings rise 0.6% on Friday

* Money managers raise gold net longs in week to June 11

* U.S. Federal Reserve meeting due June 18-19

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng and Diptendu Lahiri

June 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped further from last week's 14-month peak as investors awaited further clues on interest rates from a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting due to begin on June 18.

Spot gold fell by 0.2 % to $1,338.84 per ounce at 1249 GMT on Monday, after hitting $1,358.04, its highest since April 11, 2018, on Friday. U.S. gold futures also eased 0.2%, to $1,342.40 an ounce.

The dollar index dropped 0.2%, having hit a two-week high on strong U.S. economic data.

"The dollar is slightly down but the profit taking is overpowering any tailwind," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said of the fall in gold prices.

Strong U.S. retail sales data on Friday slightly lowered expectations of a rate cut, CME Group's FedWatch tool showed.

However, bets for monetary easing at the July meeting remain at 85%.

Gold, often used by investors during times of uncertainty, tends to gain on expectations of lower interest rates.

"We may ... see a bit of a correction in gold, with $1,320 being notable support to the downside," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst with OANDA, said in a note.

Bullion marked a fourth consecutive week of gains on June 14, on the back of increased expectations for a U.S. Fed rate cut and concerns about the impact of a tariff war between the United States and China on global economic health.

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office will kick off seven days of testimony from U.S. retailers, manufacturers and other businesses about President Donald Trump's plan to hit another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.6% to 764.10 tonnes on Friday from 759.70 tonnes on Thursday.

Speculators also raised their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week to June 11, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

Silver fell 0.2% to $14.84 per ounce, while platinum

fell 0.6% to $794.17.

Palladium slid 1.3% to $1,445.90 per ounce.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng, Arijit Bose and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru, Editing by Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith)

((eileen.soreng@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: eileen.soreng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))