Gold Futures Settle Slightly Higher

Gold futures settled slightly higher on Wednesday after moving in a somewhat narrow range, as traders looked for direction.

Gold prices moved higher and hit a more than 1-week high earlier in the day amid concerns over rising tensions between the United States and Russia regarding Ukraine but failed to find support at higher levels.

Investors, who look ahead to the upcoming Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting on December 14 & 15, also followed the latest developments in China's property sector after Evergrade reportedly failed to make overseas debt payments within a grace period.

Reports suggest the Fed could decide to double the pace of tapering its asset purchase program to $30 billion per month.

Despite the dollar's notable decline, gold prices struggled to sustain a significant move to the upside. The dollar index dropped to 95.88, giving up about 0.5% from the previous close.

Gold futures for February ended up by $0.80 at $1,785.50 an ounce. The contract climbed to $1,794.30 an ounce before dropping to $1,780.10 by mid-morning.

Silver futures for March ended lower by $0.091 at $22.432 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.3935 per pound, up $0.0540 from the previous close.

The U.S. said after a tense two-hour summit that it its preparing "robust responses" over fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, on the virus front, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Tuesday said the Omicron variant appeared to be milder than previous strains but also seemed to spread faster and could lead to more mutations in the future.

However, South African scientists warned the variant significantly reduced the antibody protection generated by the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.

British drug maker GSK said on Tuesday its antibody-based COVID-19 therapy with U.S. partner Vir Biotechnology is effective against all mutations of the Omicron variant.

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