Gold futures rise on rate cut expectation

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled higher on Tuesday, marking a third straight session of gains, as investors awaited a Federal Reserve decision on interest rates due Wednesday. The most active gold contract for December delivery went up 8.5 dollars, or 0.59 percent, to close at 1,441.8 U.S. dollars per ounce. The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to cut rates by at least 25 basis points at the conclusion of its two-day policy gathering on Wednesday, even as recent data showed that the U.S. economy grew at annualized pace of 2.1 percent in the second quarter. The precious metal was also boosted by falling U.S. equities. As of 1755 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 20.60 points, or 0.08 percent. The S&P 500 Index went down 6.80 points, or 0.23 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 11.33 points, or 0.14 percent . Gold usually moves in opposite directions with the U.S. equities. When the stock markets were on the rise, investors may stop buying safe-haven assets. As for other precious metals, silver for September delivery was up 11.8 cents, or 0.72 percent, to settle at 16.558 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery was down 9.3 dollars, or 1.05 percent, to close at 872.6 dollars per ounce.