Gold ends lower on firm dollar ahead of Fed, Greece eyed

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Gold slipped on Tuesday as the dollar firmed as the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting got underway, while a looming Greek crisis failed to trigger sustained demand for safe-haven assets.

fell 0.4 percent to $1,181.45 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled down $4.90 an ounce at $1,180.90.

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"Gold is weaker because people are still thinking that the U.S. economy is recovering," Citi strategist David Wilson said.

"So people are focusing on those positives of the U.S. economy rather than the macro negatives of a Greek exit (from the European Union), given that the Athens crisis has been dragging on for a very long time."

U.S. permits for future home construction surged to a near eight-year high in May, suggesting a building up of momentum in housing and the broader economy after a dismal performance at the start of the year.

"You've got some decent data today, which also means the Fed becomes more likely to move, particularly by September and so I think the market's trying to price that," said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth management, referring to the Fed's likelihood to raise interest rates.

Investors are waiting for a statement on Wednesday from the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, looking for clues from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on when the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates from record lows.

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Bullion has not made much headway in recent months because of uncertainty over the timing of a rate rise, which would reduce demand for the non-interest-paying asset.

Stocks mostly rose on the day, with shares in both Europe and the United States rebounding after a two-day decline, though the uncertainty surrounding Greece limited gains.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras lashed out at Greece's creditors, accusing them of trying to "humiliate" Greeks, and he defied a drum beat of warnings that Europe is preparing for his country to leave the euro.

There were continued outflows for exchange-traded bullion funds, with assets at top fund SPDR Gold Trust falling 0.3 percent to 701.9 tons on Monday, the lowest since 2008.