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Price of gold settles lower at US$1,272

Gold prices settled lower Tuesday amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue easing off its support for the economy.

Gold for August delivery fell US$3.30 to settle at an even US$1,272 an ounce.

The Fed began a two-day meeting Tuesday. When it wraps up, many analysts expect the Fed to announce another US$10 billion cut to its bond-buying program, trimming its monthly purchases to US$35 billion.

Gold prices have slumped 8 percent over the past year as the Fed has scaled back its bond purchases. Traders expect interest rates to creep higher, weakening the appeal of gold as an investment.

Other metals edged up slightly Tuesday. Silver for July rose 2 cents to US$19.73 an ounce. Copper for the same month rose a penny to US$3.06 a pound.

Platinum for July delivery rose US$4 to US$1,443.10 an ounce, while palladium for September gained US$7.35 to US$816.70 an ounce.

In crop trading, soybeans dropped 24 cents to US$13.98 a bushel. Wheat rose a penny to US$5.82 a bushel, while corn fell 2 cents to US$4.39 a bushel.

Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to US$3.06 a gallon.

Heating oil added 2 cents to US$3.02 a gallon.

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