Metals: Gold Prices Inch Lower Ahead of Fed Meeting

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The expectation is that there will not be an increase in the fed funds rate, which serves as the benchmark for short-term rates.

The German DAX was also declining 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was up 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was adding 0.2 percent.

At 9:39 a.m. ET (9:39 p.m. Singapore time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 33.52 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 22,301.86, the S&P 500 was up 4.44 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 2,504.67 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 18.27 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 6,466.74.

A new batch of financial projections from the Fed are expected, which will lay the groundwork for any interest rate hikes going forward.

The US central bank is also expected to announce moves to shrink its $US4.5 trillion asset portfolio, built up to spur economic growth in the wake of the financial crisis that began a decade ago.

Northrop's shares were little changed. The Security Council criticized Friday's launch over Japan as "highly provocative".

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In today's economic news, the German ZEW investor survey painted an upbeat picture ahead of the German federal elections during the weekend.

Metals: Gold Prices Inch Lower Ahead of Fed Meeting
Metals: Gold Prices Inch Lower Ahead of Fed Meeting

Investors typically sell shares of utilities and telecoms as well as high dividend payers when interest rates rise, partly because they lose their appeal as bond proxies since investors can expect similar returns investing in bonds, which are seen as safer assets.

But economists and Fed officials say the storms will not affect the underlying trend in growth, which has been steady at around 2 percent in recent years, and activity should rebound later in the year due to reconstruction efforts.

Japan's Nikkei stock index () surged 1.2 percent in early trade, catching up to global equities gains and responding to a weaker yen as Tokyo markets reopened after a public holiday on Monday.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,385 to 1,288. India's Sensex gained 0.6 percent to 32,472.62. Stabilizing oil prices and easing North Korea tensions have played a leading role in Gold's sharp decline with price trading around $1308 as of writing.

The Aussie dollar fetched $0.7982 USA late afternoon local time after spiking as high as $0.7993 immediately after the release of the minutes.

The euro was flat at $1.1992 EUR= after popping to an eight-day high above $1.2000 overnight. Economists have expected the next rate increase to come in December.

In late NY trading, the euro rose to 1.1998 dollars from 1.1950 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound gained to 1.3523 dollars from 1.3489 US dollars in the previous session.

Bitcoin dropped for an eighth straight day close to $3,000 and was on track for its worst week since 2013 after a 25 percent drop since Monday, as China closed another bitcoin exchange and as fears grew of a broader crackdown.