Gold Prices Rise Above $1,300 Ahead of Fed Meeting (REALCOMMODITY.COM: 8077694749, 9720148005)

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Gold prices rose on Monday in Asia and traded above the $1,300 mark ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting where the central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged.

Gold Futures were up 0.4% at $1,302.75 by 12:12 AM ET (05:12 GMT) on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Fed will conclude its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and is widely expected to hold rates steady after raising them in December for the fourth time in 2018. The U.S. central bank has indicated that it will hike rates twice this year, but some officials have recently adopted a more dovish tone.

Meanwhile, the ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China is also expected to be a major focus this week, as the two sides try to reach a trade deal before a deadline on March 1.

Chinese officials will arrive in Washington on Wednesday for another round of trade talks with their U.S. counterparts. Officials have until March 1 to reach a deal after which U.S. President Donald Trump has said he could move forward with fresh tariffs on Chinese imports.

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries were “making a lot of progress” in the trade front. Contradicting Mnuchin’s comments, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that the U.S. was “miles and miles” from reaching a trade deal with China.

Elsewhere, traders will be awaiting an expected update on U.S. fourth-quarter growth on Wednesday and Friday’s U.S. government employment report for January.

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