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PRECIOUS-Gold loses luster ahead of Fed meeting

* Fed begins two-day rate-setting meeting on Tuesday

* Platinum off five-week highs hit in previous session

(Updates prices) JOHANNESBURG, July 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices retreated from a one-month high on Tuesday as equities gained ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to provide more clues about monetary policy. The market is not expecting an interest rate increase at the Fed's two-day meeting starting on Tuesday but it is looking for hints on the timing and extent of future moves.

Spot gold was 0.2 percent lower at $1,252.59 an ounce

$1,258.79, its highest since June 23.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,252.

"The market is looking for clarity on the Fed's tightening cycle and when they are going to start with the tapering (of monetary stimulus)," said ETF Securities analyst Martin Arnold. Taking the shine off gold slightly, investors climbed into European equities after a string of solid corporate updates.

The U.S. dollar hovered near a 13-month low against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, with traders not expecting the Fed meeting to alter the currency's recent weakness. Markets give a less than 50 percent probability of a U.S. interest rate increase before the end of the year, according to CME's Fedwatch tool. Also supporting gold were hurdles standing in the way of U.S. President Donald Trump's economic stimulus and tax reform agenda. "There is a dual-pronged attraction to gold at the moment, with low interest rates and investors looking at the metal as a hedge against U.S. political uncertainty," Arnold said. Gold is often seen as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty. The Republican Party's repeated failure to overhaul the healthcare system and multiple investigations into Trump's election campaign have cast a shadow over his first six months. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told Senate investigators on Monday he had no part in any Kremlin attempt to meddle in the U.S. election despite having met Russians four times last year.

In other precious metals, silver rose 0.4 percent to

$16.50 an ounce after hitting its highest since July 3 at $16.59 in the previous session.

Platinum slipped 0.2 percent to $923. In the previous

session it touched $940.40, its highest in more than five weeks.

Palladium advanced 1.8 percent to $863.75.

(Additional reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by David Goodman and David Clarke)