Gold and silver slide after further Fed cuts
NEW YORK (AP) — Gold and silver prices fell Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve made further cuts to its economic stimulus program.
The actively traded April contract for gold fell $19.70, or 1.6 percent, to $1,242.50 an ounce Thursday. Silver for March delivery fell 42.6 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $19.126 an ounce.
Gold and silver lost more of their appeal as havens for investors after the Fed announced more reductions in its bond-buying program late Wednesday.
Traders had bid up the prices of both metals expecting that the Fed’s program would weaken the dollar and cause inflation. That never happened, and now that the program is winding down, the threat is diminishing even further.
March copper fell a penny to $3.23 a pound. April platinum fell $25.80 to $1,382.30 an ounce and March palladium fell $4.30 to $706.85 an ounce.
Natural gas prices plunged 8 percent after soaring the day before. The March contract fell 45.4 cents to $5.011 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Other energy futures rose.
U.S. benchmark crude oil climbed 87 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $98.23 a barrel. Heating oil rose a penny to $3.03 a gallon and wholesale gasoline rose less than a cent to $2.67 a gallon.
Agricultural contracts rose.
March wheat rose 2 cents to $5.535 a bushel. Corn for March delivery rose 6 cents to $4.335 a bushel and March soybeans rose 5.75 cents to $12.75 a bushel.