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Gold prices drift lower after Fed trims support

April 30, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Gold prices headed lower Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it will continue to scale back its support for the economy.

Gold for June delivery slipped 40 cents to settle at $1,295.90 an ounce. Silver for July dropped 36 cents to $19.17 an ounce.

The Fed cut its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $45 billion, saying the steadily improving economy needs less help.

Gold prices have slumped in recent months as expectations build that the Fed will raise interest rates next year, weakening the appeal of gold and other precious metals as investments.

Prices for most other metals also drifted lower Wednesday. Copper for July dropped 5 cents to $3.03 a pound.

Platinum for July fell $3.50 to $1,427.90 an ounce. Palladium for June rose $4.60 to $812.50 an ounce.

In other trading, agricultural contracts were mixed. Wheat rose 5 cents to $7.22 a bushel.

Corn fell 3 cents to $5.19 a bushel. Soybeans slipped 5 cents to $15.13 a bushel.

In oil and gas trading, the price of oil fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in three weeks Wednesday as reports showed U.S. economic growth stalled in the first quarter. Benchmark U.S. crude oil for June delivery dropped $1.54, or 1.5 percent, to close at $99.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline lost 4 cents to $2.96 a gallon.

— Heating oil shed 4 cents to $2.93 a gallon.

— Natural gas retreated 2 cents to $4.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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