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PRECIOUS-Gold Steady As Big Rate Cut Bets Fade, Analysts Eye Further Upside

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* Gold could retest resistance at $1,439/oz -technicals

* Silver on track for third straight session of gains

* ECB to meet on Thursday, U.S. Fed over July 30-31 (Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

July 22 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Monday, having slid 1% in the previous session on lowered expectations of a big interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but the metal’s overall momentum remained supported by global geopolitical uncertainties.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,426.36 an ounce at 1028 GMT, having touched $1,448 on Friday for its highest since May 2013. Though prices then dropped by more than 1% gold was still up 0.7% over the the week.

U.S. gold futures remained unchanged on Monday at $1,427.20.

“Gold is clearly bullish even though we saw that pull-back on Friday. The precious metal is searching for a fresh directional catalyst,” said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga, adding that a timid dollar and uncertainty over international trade, Brexit and geopolitical tensions around the globe are all propping up gold markets.

“That the Fed is expected to cut rates is one of the key things supporting gold markets. How deep the cut is will determine how gold enters August.”

The Fed is expected to cut interest rates at its July 30-31 meeting. The European Central Bank is also expected to lean towards monetary policy easing at a meeting on Thursday.

Pricing for a Fed cut of 50 basis points soared last week after a dovish speech by New York Fed President John Williams. Those expectations later dwindled after a Fed spokesman clarified that the remarks did not refer to potential policy actions.

Priced-in forecasts for a cut of 50 basis points have dropped from as high as 71% last week to 18.5% on Monday.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar.

According to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao, spot gold could retest resistance at $1,439, having stabilised around support at $1,421.

FXTM’s Otunuga added: “All the ingredients for gold to shine remain present. As long as these ingredients continue to bubble in the cauldron, there’s no place like gold.”

Silver, meanwhile, rose 0.9% to $16.34 an ounce, on track for a third straight daily gain.

While speculators raised their bullish stance in gold and silver in the week to July 16, silver registered a higher addition of net long positions.

“After rising from below $15 to over $16.50 in just two and a half weeks, we would not be surprised if some market participants were to take profits, thereby prompting a price correction,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

Platinum rose 0.7% to $849.65 and palladium gained 0.1% to $1,507.47. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)

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