- Copper prices declined on Tuesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve''s policy meeting due to begin later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for July delivery held in a range between $3.072 a pound and $3.098 a pound.

Copper last traded at $3.091 a pound during European morning hours, down 0.07%, or 0.2 cents. Prices rose to $3.104 a pound on Monday, the most since March 7, before settling at $3.093 a pound, little changed on the day.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.035 a pound, the low from April 24 and resistance at $3.104 a pound, the high from April 28.

Traders looked ahead to the Fed’s monetary policy statement due on Wednesday. The central bank is likely to stick to its timetable to trim its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion.

Market players were also focusing on China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, due May 1, which is expected to rise to 50.5 for April from 50.3 for March.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

Meanwhile, investors continued to monitor events in Ukraine, as hostilities between Kiev and Russia remain high. The U.S. and European Union imposed fresh sanctions against Russia on Monday.

17 companies and 7 individuals in all were U.S. targets in this round of sanctions, which come amid mounting tension over eastern Ukraine.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for June delivery fell 0.75%, or $9.70, to trade at $1,289.30 a troy ounce, while silver for July delivery dropped 0.95%, or 18.7 cents, to trade at $19.43 an ounce.

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