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RTRS: Gold set for third monthly rise on softer dollar, Fed slowdown bets
an 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Tuesday were on track for their third straight monthly gain, helped by an overall weaker dollar and expectations around slower rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Spot gold pared most of its earlier losses on the day, and was little changed at $1,922.27 per ounce by 9:35 a.m. ET (1435 GMT). Bullion has gained 5.3% in January.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,938.20.

The dollar was heading for its fourth consecutive monthly loss, making bullion more attractive for holders of other currencies.

"We have so many event-driven risks throughout this week and investors have to pay attention to that. Gold prices are likely to be volatile," said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

"(However), $1,950 per ounce is an easily achievable target in the short-term for bullion,", Streible added.

The U.S. central bank policy decision is due at 1900 GMT on Wednesday, followed by a news conference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Markets are pricing in a 25-basis-points hike (bps) by the Fed, after slowing its pace to 50 bps in December, following four straight 75-bp hikes.

Additionally, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are likely to be raising rates on Thursday.

Lower rates tend to be beneficial for bullion, decreasing the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

Meanwhile, analysts and traders have raised their predictions for gold prices but expect high rates to keep a lid on rallies, a Reuters poll showed.

"Given how markets are expecting the FOMC, BoE, and ECB to make a move, the focus is likely to be on what they say rather than the actions they take," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM, in a note.

Spot silver fell 0.5% to $23.47 per ounce and platinum was down around 1% to $999.13 - both en route to their first monthly fall in five.

Palladium dipped 1.5% to $1,613.31, falling for the second consecutive month.

Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru, additional reporting Arundhati Sarkar; editing by Ed Osmond