Russian President Vladimir Putin was to give a speech later Tuesday, after Crimea voted overwhelmingly in favor of becoming part of Russia in a referendum deemed illegal by the European Union and the U.S. Uncertainty over the situation in Ukraine has weighed on global sentiment over the past few weeks and boosted demand for the precious metal. Meanwhile, investors began to turn their attention to the outcome of the Fed’s policy meeting on Wednesday amid expectations for a reduction in its bond-buying program to $55 billion from the current $65 billion.
Market players looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy. The U.S. is to produce data on consumer price inflation as well as reports on building permits and housing starts. Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for May delivery inched up 0.4%, or 1.1 cents, to trade at $2.964 a pound, as investors continued to close out bets on lower prices. The industrial metal fell to $2.908 a pound on March 12, the lowest since July 2010, as ongoing concerns over the health of China’s economy dampened demand for growth-linked assets.
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