* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.2% on Monday

* U.S. consumer price data due at 1230 GMT (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)

Sept 14 (Reuters) – Gold prices inched lower on Tuesday, as investors braced for the U.S. inflation data that could offer cues on the Federal Reserve’s timeline to start tapering stimulus measures meant to aid economic recovery from the pandemic.

Spot gold eased 0.2% to $1,790.66 per ounce by 0337 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,791.90.

“A modest acceleration (in inflation) reinforces the idea that the Fed is likelier to make a more formal announcement that a taper is imminent,” said DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak.

“The reaction from gold is going to be negative because the prospect of reducing stimulus is something that bids up yields.”

Higher Treasury yields translate into higher opportunity cost for holding non-interest bearing bullion.

U.S. consumer price data is due at 1230 GMT. Economists expect core CPI, an index which strips out volatile energy and food prices, to have risen 0.3% in August from July.

The data comes ahead of the key policy meeting by the Federal Reserve on Sept. 21-22, where markets will keep a close eye on central bank’s announcement on when it will start winding up its pandemic-era bond-buying programme.

U.S. central bank officials are keeping a close watch on inflation expectations as they try to evaluate whether the pricing pressures will pass or have more lasting effects on the economy.

The dollar index was steady after hitting a two-week high on Monday.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.2% to 1,000.21 tonnes on Monday from 998.17 tonnes on Friday.

Silver fell 0.3% to $23.65 per ounce, platinum dipped 0.2% to $958.73 and palladium rose 0.3% to $2,094.16. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Rashmi Aich)

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