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Gold ends 1% lower as stocks rally on Putin speech

AP

Gold futures settled 1 lower on Tuesday as global equities rose after Russian President Vladimir Putin's latest comments on Crimea lifted appetite for risk, while investors awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting.

In a speech to a joint session of parliament, Putin said Russia does not want to seize more of Ukraine after approving plans to make Crimea part of Russia.

"It is very difficult to trade that type of event risk like Ukraine because it could end any day and to buy gold only on the back of that it is not sustainable and that's why we see that support fade ...until some new headline comes out again,'' Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet said.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled $13.90 lower at $1,359.00 an ounce, having earlier hit a session low of $1,351.10.

Spot gold was last down 0.6 percent at $1,358 an ounce. The metal rallied on Monday to a six-month high at $1,391.76 before investors started to cash in profits.

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European shares, lower initially, bounced back after Putin's speech, while U.S. stocks opened in the positive territory. The dollar rose 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies after data U.S. consumer prices rose, albeit marginally, in February.

Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking region of Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a weekend referendum, condemned by Western states, in favor of joining Russia.

The United States and the European Union imposed personal sanctions on Monday on Russian and Crimean officials involved in the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine as Putin signed a decree recognizing the region as a sovereign state.

Gold has risen 13 percent this year and was headed for its biggest quarterly gain for at least seven years as mounting geopolitical tensions and fears over slowing economic growth spurred demand for the metal as an insurance against risk.

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