(Adds comment, graphic and updates prices)
* Gold could trade between $1,780/oz and $1,830/oz- analyst
* Fed Governor Bostic open to accelerating stimulus tapering
Nov 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday as
concerns over the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant
offset a stronger dollar, with investors assessing whether the
emergence of the variant could change the U.S. Federal Reserve's
Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,794.87 per ounce by 0646
GMT, while U.S. gold futures advanced 0.5% to $1,794.20.
With new cases of the Omicron variant found in the
Netherlands, Denmark and Australia, more countries imposed
travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.
"Given the uncertainty around whether this new variant is
more dangerous than the Delta variant, gold's downside should be
protected," Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for
South Asia at Metals Focus, said, adding that it could trade
between $1,780 and $1,830.
Barot also said while it was too soon to gauge if virus
concerns have eased rate hike expectations, there is an upside
risk for gold that the variant eventually leads the Fed to
scale back on its stimulus tapering and rate rise plans.
Atlanta U.S. Fed President Raphael Bostic was the latest
among a growing number of policymakers to say he remained open
to accelerating the pace of the central bank's bond taper.
Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push
government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of gold,
which pays no interest.
Capping gold's gains, was a stronger dollar which increased
bullion's cost to buyers holding other currencies.
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, partly
attributed gold's retreat from Friday's peak to the steep
decline in platinum and palladium, and said gold's inability to
rise substantially from their recovery on Monday was a negative
factor for gold's price action, potentially pushing it lower.
Spot silver rose 1% to $23.37 per ounce. Platinum
gained 1.6% to $968.83, while palladium added 2.4%
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich