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Gold makes strides ahead of Fed statement

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Gold futures gained ground Wednesday, aiming to end a two-day losing stretch as the focus turned to what the Federal Reserve has to say about the U.S. economy.

Gold for February delivery  GCG4 +0.20%    in electronic trade was increase $2.80, or 0.2%, to $1,252.80 an ounce. March silver  SIH4 +0.29%    added 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $19.56 an ounce. A day earlier, gold futures made it two sessions in a row in the red, as ameliorating consumer confidence helped stimulate equities.

Gold prices didn’t change much during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night in Washington, but volatility will likely pick up later Wednesday when the Federal Reserve delivers its policy statement following its two-day conference.

“Even though an extra taper of $10 billion is widely expected, much will ride on the statement’s policy wording and tone,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir. “In theory, gold could be under pressure in the wake of the Fed move, but another change lower in U.S. stocks could provide an element of help.”

Elsewhere in metals trading, platinum for April delivery  PLJ4 +0.18%  rose $2.70, or 0.2%, to $1,412.10 an ounce, when March palladium  PAH4 +0.06%  was up 40 cents, or 0.1%, at $716.90 an ounce. High-grade copper for March delivery  HGH4 +0.28%  added a penny to $3.26 a pound.

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