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Gold Drifts Lower As Investors Dump Safe Havens

Gold prices drift lower

Investing.com - Gold prices drifted lower on Tuesday, as investors wagered U.S.-led attacks on Syria would not escalate into a wider conflict in the Middle East, dampening demand for the safe-haven asset.

While Saturday's missile strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syria, investor risk appetite improved on speculation that the attacks would not lead to prolonged conflict.

Comex gold futures were down around $5.50, or 0.4%, at $1,345.30 a troy ounce by 4:15AM ET (0815GMT).

Gold prices ended higher Monday, boosted by weakness in the dollar.

The greenback's downward trend continued in early trade Tuesday. Against a basket of six major rival currencies, the dollar fell to a three-week low of 89.03.

Looking ahead, the Commerce Department will publish a report on building permits and housing starts for March at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT).

On the central bank front, market players will also pay close attention to comments from a number of Fed speakers for insights into the outlook for monetary policy.

Topping the agenda will be remarks from Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams, who in June will take on the pivotal New York Federal Reserve president's position.

Speeches from Atlanta Fed boss Raphael Bostic, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Chicago Fed chief Charles Evans will also be in focus.

The Fed hiked rates last month and stuck to its projection for two more rate hikes this year.

Traders are currently pricing in around a 95% chance of a rate hike in June, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a third rate hike by December was seen at about 85%.

In other metals action, silver futures were down 6.2 cents, or 0.4%, at $16.61 a troy ounce.

Palladium futures lost 1.5% to $988.35 an ounce. Sister metal platinum meanwhile dipped 0.1% at $931.10.

May copper shed 2.4 cents, or 0.8%, to $3.071 a pound after data from China gave a mixed picture of the country's economic health.

China's economy grew a welcome 6.8% in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, unchanged from the previous quarter.

But separate data showed March industrial output missed expectations and first-quarter fixed-asset investment growth slowed.

The Asian nation is the world's largest consumer of the red metal.

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