Gold is little changed after Fed trims stimulus

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2013 3:54 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Gold prices were little changed Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced a long-expected decision to slightly reduce its bond purchases.

Gold futures edged up $4.90, or 0.4 percent, to $1,235 an ounce. Silver rose, but other metals futures fell.

Investors have long anticipated that the Fed would start pulling back on its economic stimulus as the economy strengthens; the only question was when and by how much.

The Fed said Wednesday that it would reduce its bond purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion a month beginning in January, citing a stronger jobs market. The Fed said it would still keep short-term interest rates very low.

The bond-buying program had prompted some investors to bid up gold prices out of fear that it might cause inflation. That fear never materialized.

March silver rose 21.9 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $20.059 an ounce.

High-grade copper for March delivery fell a quarter of a penny, or 0.1 percent, to $3.319 a pound. March palladium fell $1.60, or 0.2 percent, to $699.45 an ounce and January platinum fell $1.90, or 1.9 percent, to $1,342.70 an ounce.

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Crude oil rose 58 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $97.80 a barrel.

Other energy futures mostly rose. Wholesale gasoline futures rose 5 cents to $2.70 a gallon and heating rose 5 cents to $3.01 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4 cents to $4.25 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Agricultural futures fell broadly.

Corn for March delivery fell 1.75 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $4.25 a bushel, January soybeans fell 22.5 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $13.24 a bushel. March wheat fell 7 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $6.1275 a bushel.