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Gold Futures Settle Slightly Higher

Gold futures settled slightly higher on Tuesday, supported by a weak dollar ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy announcement on Wednesday.

Weakness in stock markets following a regulatory crackdown by China on U.S.-listed technology firms also contributed to the precious metal's uptick.

The dollar index dropped to 92.32, losing nearly 0.4% from Monday's close.

Gold futures for August ended up by $0.60 or about 0.03% at $1,799.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for September ended lower by $0.669 or about 2.6% at $24.649 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $4.5445 per pound, down $0.0405 or 0.9% from the previous close.

A two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve got underway this afternoon. Investors are waiting to see how the central bank will balance fast-rising prices with the complication of increased coronavirus infections.

The Fed's policy statement will be issued at 2 PM ET on Wednesday, followed by a news conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing durable goods orders climbed by 0.8% in June after spiking by an upwardly revised 3.2% in May. Economists had been expecting orders to surge up by 2.1% compared to the 2.3% jump that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.3% in June following a 0.5% increase in May. Ex-transportation orders were expected to climb by 0.8%.

A separate report from the Conference Board showed consumer confidence in the U.S. saw a slight improvement from an upwardly revised level in the month of July.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index inched up to 129.1 in July from an upwardly revised 128.9 in June. Economists had expected the index to drop to 124.9 from the 127.3 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected uptick, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 132.6 in February of 2020.

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