Gold prices were holding just below $1,200 an ounce on Wednesday as investors warily awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s final policy meeting of the year later in the day. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery were up 0.28% to $1,197.60. The February contract ended Tuesday’s session down 1.1% to $1,194.30 an ounce amid widespread volatility in markets from a rout in oil prices and the sharp fall in Russia’s ruble. Investors remained wary ahead of the Fed’s policy statement, as ongoing speculation over the prospects for a U.S. rate hike next year have fuelled expectations that the bank may change its forward guidance, and drop the pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time”. Commodity markets have benefited from the Fed’s monetary easing program in recent years and could come under pressure if it tightens monetary policy. The firmer dollar held gold’s gains in check. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.50% to 88.50, off Tuesday’s almost three-week lows of 87.83. Elsewhere in metals trading, silver for March delivery was up 0.76% at $15.87 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery slid 0.26% to $2.85 a pound.