Gold settled Tuesday at its highest price in more than two months, buoyed in part by sharp losses in the U.S. stock market as investors awaited Wednesday's monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. "Ukraine tensions have undoubtedly helped gold over the past two sessions, but I believe the real driver is precisely the Fed's plans to begin rate hikes soon," said Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter, pointing out that the first hike in a tightening cycle has historically sparked a rally in gold. "That might seem counter-intuitive, but the record clearly shows the pattern," he said, likely because "traders are shorting gold in anticipation of rate hikes, and having bought the rumor, they 'sell the news'." February gold rose $10.80, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,852.50 an ounce. That was the highest most-active contract finish since Nov. 18, FactSet data show.