- Gold prices inched up on Tuesday after two prominent Federal Reserve officials addressed the timing of rate hikes, which sent equities falling on uncertainty, thus bolstering the yellow metal''s appeal as a safe haven.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for June delivery traded at 1,294.40 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 0.05%, up from a session low of $1,286.10 and off a high of $1,297.00.

The June contract settled up 0.03% at $1,293.80 on Monday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,277.70 a troy ounce, the low from May 12, and resistance at $1,305.70, Monday''s high.

Gold rose on safe-haven demand from investors avoiding equities as investors jumped to the sidelines to digest comments from U.S. monetary authorities.

Charles Plosser, the head of the Federal Reserve''s Bank of Philadelphia, said earlier that the Fed should consider winding down its monthly bond-purchasing program quicker than its current pace to ensure than inflationary pressures remain in comfort zones, while rate hikes should follow soon afterwards.

"My own view is that, as we continue to move closer to our 2 percent inflation goal and the labor market improves, we must be prepared to adjust policy appropriately. That may well require us to begin raising interest rates sooner rather than later," Plosser said in prepared remarks of a speech he delivered in Washington earlier.

Separately, William Dudley, head of the New York Fed, said rates will raise after the Fed winds down stimulus programs though hikes will come gradually.

"My current thinking is that the pace of tightening will probably be relatively slow. This depends, however, in large part, not only on the economy’s performance, but also on how financial conditions respond to tightening," Dudley said in prepared remarks of a speech he delivered before the New York Association for Business Economics earlier.

"If the response of financial conditions to tightening is very mild—say similar to how the bond and equity markets have responded to the tapering of asset purchases since last December—this might encourage a somewhat faster pace. In contrast, if bond yields were to move sharply higher, as was the case last spring, then a more cautious approach might be warranted."

Gains were limited, as consensus exists that Fed stimulus tools that have supported gold for years are on their way out, with the timing of rate hikes serving as the main uncertainty.

Elsewhere, the World Gold Council reported earlier that demand in China, the world''s biggest consumer, fell 18% in the first quarter.

Jewelry consumption jumped 10%, though demand for bars and coins fell 55% percent.

Meanwhile, silver for July delivery was up 0.20% at $19.392 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery were down 0.74% at $3.144 a pound.

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