The current trading week kicked-off positively for the US and equity markets, prompting dollar-denominated gold to lose investor favour. A recent forecast of economists polled by Reuters indicates that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December and twice next year, echoing the current expectations of Federal Funds futures as tracked by CME Group. Gold is highly sensitive to any increase in US rates, which lifts the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion. Gold prices were also feeling the heat of bullish greenback outlook after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's weekend election victory raised the prospect of an extension of ultra-loose monetary policy. XAUUSD was last seen trending around $1281 per troy ounce. From a technical standpoint, $1284 represents the immediate resistance, a breach of which could see prices climb to $1290 an ounce. However, the short-term trend in the metal continues to remain bearish.