PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch down on stronger dollar, Fed in focus

March 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged down on Tuesday as the dollar firmed, with focus shifting to the U.S. Federal Reserve which is expected to hike interest rates and signal three more increases this year at a two-day meeting that kicks off later in the day.


* Spot gold had fallen 0.1 percent to $1,315.86 per ounce at 0108 GMT.

* U.S. gold futures for April delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $1,315.80 per ounce.

* The dollar index against a basket of currencies was up 0.1 percent at 89.883. It slipped 0.5 percent on Monday.

* The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the U.S. central bank's policy-setting group, will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday.

* The Trump administration is expected to unveil up to $60 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports by Friday, targeting technology, telecommunications and intellectual property, two officials briefed on the matter said Monday.

* European Central Bank policymakers are shifting their debate to the expected path of interest rates as even some of its most dovish rate setters accept that lucrative bond buys should end this year, sources close to the discussion said.

* Global economic growth is facing the risk of inward-looking policies and protectionism which must be avoided, European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting of world financial leaders in Argentina that discussed trade.

* EU and British negotiators have agreed draft Brexit treaty texts dealing with a transition period and other issues and have a broad agreement on Irish border arrangements although some details are outstanding, a senior EU diplomat said on Monday.

* Qatar has asked U.S. regulators to investigate the U.S. subsidiary of the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, accusing it of "bogus" foreign exchange deals designed to harm its economy as part of a blockade by Gulf neighbors.

* Asian shares fell on Tuesday as investors dumped high-flying U.S. technology stocks on fears of stiffer regulation as Facebook came under fire following reports it allowed improper access to user data.

* SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.26 percent to 850.84 tonnes on Monday from 840.22 tonnes on Friday.

* Russia raised gold holdings by 22.80 tonnes to 1,880.53 tonnes in February, 2018, according to IMF data.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)