Gold Futures Recover After Back-to-back Losses, Settle Notably Higher

Gold futures settled notably higher on Tuesday, bouncing back after posting losses in the previous two sessions.

Reports that a probe into tax fraud and money laundering found some major French banks suspect of dividend stripping raised concerns about the banking sector and prompted investors to seek the safe-haven yellow metal.

A weak dollar contributed to the uptick in gold prices. The dollar index dropped to 102.41, losing about 0.42%.

Investors continued to focus on news from the banking sector.

Gold futures for April ended higher by $19.70 or about 1% at $1,973.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for May ended up $0.275 at $23.420 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.0855 per pound, gaining $0.0070.

Traders now look for the upcoming personal income and spending data for clues about the timing of the final rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicates a 47.4% chance the Fed will leave rates unchanged at its next meeting in early May and a 52.6% chance of a 25 basis point increase.

On the U.S. economic front, the Conference Board released a report unexpectedly showing a slight improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of March.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index inched up to 104.2 in March from an upwardly revised 103.4 in February.

The modest increase surprised economists, who had expected the consumer confidence index to slip to 101.0 from the 102.9 originally reported for the previous month.

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