- Gold prices fell during Asian trading hours on Wednesday as global stock markets recovered from several losing sessions and with rising expectations that the Federal Reserve to conclude a monetary policy meeting by announcing fresh cuts to its USD75 billion monthly stimulus program.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at USD1,252.20 a troy ounce during Asian trading, down 0.18%.

On Monday the gold futures traded at a session low of USD1,248.90 and a high of 1,256.80. The April contract settled down at USD1,254.40.

Futures were likely to find support at USD1,231.30 a troy ounce, the low from Jan. 23, and resistance at USD1,279.20, the high from Jan. 26.

On Tuesday the U.S. Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence improved to 80.7 this month from a downwardly revised 77.5 in December.

Analysts were expecting the index to rise to 78.1, and the numbers fueled expectations that the Fed will conclude a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday announcing fresh cuts to its USD75 billion bond-buying program.

Fed asset purchases tend to weaken the dollar by driving down long-term interest rates, while talk of their dismantling often strengthens the greenback, which historically moves inversely with gold.

Meanwhile a separate report showed that U.S. durable goods orders fell unexpectedly in December.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that durable goods orders fell 4.3% in December, confounding expectations for a 1.8% gain.

Core durable goods, which are stripped of volatile transportation items, orders fell 1.6% in December, the largest drop since March, compared to forecasts for a 0.5% increase.

Orders for core capital goods, a key barometer of private-sector business investment, fell 1.3% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.5% gain and after rising 2.6% in November.

Meanwhile, silver for March delivery was down 0.26% and trading at USD19.513 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery were down 0.05% and trading at USD3.249 a pound.

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