Metals Stocks: Gold struggles for positive ground ahead of Fed meeting

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Gold meandered lower on Tuesday as traders faced a full slate of economic data ahead of the next day’s key Federal Reserve policy meeting.

Gold for February delivery GCG5, +0.13% rose $ 1.70 to $ 1,281.20 an ounce, while March silver futures SIH5, -0.29% dropped 5 cents to $ 17.93 an ounce.

A day earlier, gold turned lower after radical leftist party Syriza won the Greek election over the weekend and dropped more uncertainty on markets.

The next scheduled report that will weigh heavily on traders’s minds will be Wednesday’s Fed meeting, which definitely could dictate the next move. Marex Spectron’s David Govett said he believes there’s enough uncertainty out there to support gold for the time being.

“Whilst, I don’t suspect for a minute that the Fed will surprise us with an early rate rise (that would really set the cat amongst the pigeons!!), the markets will, as always, be on tenterhooks waiting for any sign of wording change to the current en vogue watchword, ‘patience,” he said.

Before the Fed grips the market, however, a busy day of economic data is on tap Tuesday, starting with durable goods at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by the house price index from Case-Shiller 30 minutes later. At 10:00 a.m., new home sales for December, the consumer confidence index and the Richmond Fed manufacturing survey will all be released.

In other metals, platinum for April delivery PLJ5, -0.10%  rose $ 2.40 to $ 1,257.90 an ounce, while palladium for March delivery PAH5, -0.35%  gave up $ 2.70, or 0.4%, to $ 779.15 an ounce.

High-grade copper for March delivery HGH5, -1.06%  fell 3 cents to $ 2.52 a pound.


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