Gold Futures Settle Marginally Higher

Gold prices moved higher on Tuesday, lifting the most active gold futures contract to a two-week closing higher, as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement, due on Wednesday.

Data showing a drop in U.S. retail sales and decline in industrial production contributed to the yellow metal’s uptick.

The dollar maintained slight gains and U.S. Treasury yields edged up as investors await a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting for clues to the Fed’s stance on the issue of rising bond yields.

The dollar index was up marginally at 91.85 after having rallied to 92.03 from a low of 91.68.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but traders will be paying close attention to any changes to the accompanying statement.

Gold futures for April ended up $1.70 or about 0.1% at $1,730.90 an ounce.

Silver futures for May closed lower by $0.285 or 1.1% at $26.003 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.0715, down $0.0690 or 1.7% from previous close.

Data released by the Commerce Department showed U.S. retail sales pulled back by much more than anticipated in the month of February, plunging by 3%, after soaring by an upwardly revised 7.6% in January.

Economists had expected retail sales to dip by 0.5% compared to the 5.3% spike originally reported for the previous month.

The Federal Reserve released a report showing an unexpected slump in U.S. industrial production in February, with steep drops in manufacturing and mining output more than offsetting a sharp increase in utilities output.

The Fed said industrial production tumbled by 2.2% in February after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.1% in January. Economists had expected industrial production to climb by 0.6% compared to the 0.9% increase originally reported for the previous month.

The Bank of England’s policy announcement is due on Thursday, while the Bank of Japan wraps up a two-day gathering on Friday.

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