Investing.com - Gold prices trimmed losses on Tuesday, after dismal U.S. durable goods data dampened optimism over the strength of the economy, reducing expectations for a further cutback in stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
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On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery fell to a session low of USD1,252.30 a troy ounce, before trimming losses to trade at USD1,257.30 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, down 0.5%.
The April contract settled 0.08% lower on Monday to end at USD1,263.50 a troy ounce. Futures were likely to find support at USD1,230.80 a troy ounce, the low from January 23 and resistance at USD1,280.10, the high from January 27.
The U.S. Commerce Department said that total durable goods orders tumbled 4.3% last month, disappointing expectations for a 1.8% gain. Core durable goods orders declined by 1.6% in December, 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.
Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to calculate quarterly economic growth, dipped 0.2% in December, disappointing expectations for a 0.1% gain, after rising 2.3% in the preceding month.
Traders now readied for the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and possible news on the fate of the central bank’s bond buying program. The policy meeting will mark the last for outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as current Vice Chair Janet Yellen prepares to take over.
Market analysts expect the Fed to cut its bond buying program to USD65 billion from the current USD75 billion. The central bank announced its first cut to the USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases in December, citing an improving economy.
Meanwhile, silver for March delivery shed 0.25% to trade at USD19.74 a troy ounce. Comex silver prices held in a range between USD19.59 a troy ounce and USD19.83.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for March delivery rose 0.1% to trade at USD3.263 a pound.