- Copper futures fluctuated between small gains and losses on Wednesday, as market players eyed the minutes of the Federal Reserve''s latest policy meeting.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded in a range between $3.281 a pound and $3.300 a pound.

Copper prices last traded at $3.290 a pound during European morning hours, up 0.15%. The March copper contract ended Tuesday’s session 0.64% higher to settle at $3.285 a pound.

Futures were likely to find support at $3.253 a pound, the low from February 18 and resistance at USD3.320 a pound, the high from February 18.

Investors were looking ahead to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting later in the trading day, when the bank voted to cut its stimulus program by another $10 billion to $65 billion per month.

Earlier this month Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank is on track to maintain the pace of reductions to its stimulus program, as long as the economy continues to improve as expected.

Later Wednesday, the country was to publish reports on building permits, housing starts and producer price inflation.

Data on Tuesday showed that the Empire State manufacturing index fell more-than-expected in February as new orders dropped.

A separate report showed foreign investors sold almost $120 billion of U.S. assets in December.

The disappointing data added to concerns that the U.S. economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.

Meanwhile, copper traders looked ahead to key Chinese economic data to gauge the strength of the world’s second largest economy and biggest consumer of the industrial metal.

The next slice of Chinese economic data to come out will be the HSBC preliminary purchasing managers'' index for January, due on Thursday.

Copper traders consider shifts in the HSBC PMI an indicator of China''s copper demand, as the industrial metal is widely used by the sector.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for April delivery shed 0.35% to trade at $1,320.10 a troy ounce, while silver for March delivery dipped 0.4% to trade at $21.80 a troy ounce.

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