Gold lower ahead of Fed meeting outcome

Sydney-Australia (Mar 18)  Gold futures settled at their lowest level since early November on the Comex overnight, as investors awaited the outcome of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting for cues on the metal’s next direction.

Gold for April delivery declined by 0.4% to settle at US$1,148.20 an ounce.

That was the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since November 6.

Fed policymakers started their two-day meeting on today, and many analysts expected them to remove a "patient" reference to rate rises from their policy statement. That would put them a step closer to their first hike since 2006.

The FOMC meeting concludes tomorrow with a policy statement and news conference.

In other metals trading, silver for the same month lost 0.3% to US$15.578 an ounce.

May copper fell 1.3% to US$2.633 a pound.