Metals decline as traders wait for Federal Reserve

AP News
Posted: Jun 18, 2013 4:20 PM

Metal prices fell as traders anticipate that the Federal Reserve may start easing its support for the economy.

The price of gold for August delivery fell $16.20, or 1.2 percent, to $1,366.90 an ounce. Palladium and silver also declined. Only platinum bucked the trend and edged higher.

The central bank will end its two-day policy meeting Wednesday. Until this year, the Fed's bond-buying stimulus program had helped drive gold prices to record highs. Many investors thought the Fed's efforts to pump money into the financial system would lead to high inflation, and they bought gold as insurance.

Yet inflation has remained tame and the Fed may now signal it intends to ease its stimulus as the economy recovers. Gold has fallen 18 percent this year.

"The bears are maintaining control of the metals until proven otherwise," said Matt Zeman of Kingsview Financial.

Silver for July delivery fell 8.1 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $21.677 an ounce.

Copper for the same month dropped 4.25 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.155 a pound. Palladium for September fell $9.50, or 1.3 percent, to $708.35 an ounce.

Platinum for July gained $5.30, or 0.4 percent, to $1,440.10 an ounce.

In trading of agricultural products, wheat, corn and soybeans all rose.

Wheat for July gained 7 cents, or 1 percent, to $6.875 a bushel. Corn for December rose 12 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $5.5050 a bushel. Soybeans for November climbed 4.25 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $12.8975.

The price of oil rose above $98 Tuesday. U.S. benchmark oil for July delivery rose 67 cents to close at $98.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Wholesale gasoline rose 2.3 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $2.8794 a gallon. Heating oil gained 1.1 cents to $2.9617 a gallon. Natural gas increased 3 cents to $3.9050 per 1,000 cubic feet.