Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Gold futures settled marginally down on Wednesday and drifted down further after the Federal Reserve left its interest rate unchanged as expected.

The central bank also said it would maintain the $120 billion-a-month bond-buying program.

The dollar index, which climbed to 92.75 by the time the central bank announced its policy, swiftly dropped to 92.50. It was last seen at 92.52, up by about 0.1% from the previous close.

Gold futures for August settled at $1,799.70 an ounce, down $0.10 from the previous close. Gold futures slid to $1,790.70 after the central bank announced its policy, but recovered to $1,797.00 subsequently.

Silver futures for September ended up by $0.228 at $24.877 an ounce, while Copper futures for September ended down by $0.0625 at $4.4820 per pound.

The Federal Open Market Committee, which concluded its two-day monetary policy meeting Wednesday afternoon, left the target range for its federal funds rate unchanged at 0 to 0.25 percent, and said it will continue with its $120 billion-a-month bond-buying program.

The move by the central bank is in line with expectations. The bank, which said the economy is strengthening despite concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, stressed that progress on vaccinations will likely continue to reduce the effects of the public health crisis on the economy. However, it added that risks to the economic outlook remain.

“The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic have shown improvement but have not fully recovered” noted the central bank’s post-meeting statement. “Inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.”

Noting that there has been progress towards the central bank’s goals on employment and inflation, the bank’s statement says changes to policy with regard to monthly bond purchases could be on the way.

The Fed said the open market committee will continue to assess progress in coming meetings.

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