Gold and silver prices settled lower for a third session in a row Wednesday, and then dipped further when the Fed announced a third $10 billion reduction in bond purchases and removed references to a 6.5% unemployment rate as a target for when to raise interest rates.
Gold for April delivery declined $17.70, or 1.3%, to close at $1,341.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In later electronic trade, gold prices had fallen toward $1,330 an ounce.
"Gold prices sold off and hit their session lows in early afternoon trading Wednesday, following an FOMC statement that the market place deemed a bit less dovish than what some were expecting," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report.
"The U.S. dollar index rallied sharply on the FOMC statement, which added to the selling pressure in gold. The gold market bulls still possess the overall near-term technical advantage, but are now fading and need to show fresh power soon to keep it," Wyckoff added.
Gold prices during normal hours traded from a low of $1,331.40 to a high of $1,360.20. The precious metal is down $37.70, or 2.7%, from when it closed at a six-month high on Friday.
Silver for May delivery dipped 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $20.83 an ounce, ranging from $20.53 to $20.97. Silver prices were nearer $20.60 an ounce in after-hours trading.
PGM futures also ended the day lower. In the daily breakdowns:
April platinum fell $10, or 0.7%, to $1,451.70 an ounce, trading between $1,447 and $1,468.50.
- Palladium for June delivery shed $3.20, or 0.4%, to $768.20 an ounce, ranging from $763.35 to $774.15.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals split in direction. In contrasting the London fix prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:
- Gold fell $17.75, or 1.3%, to $1,338 an ounce,
- Silver declined 19 cents, or 0.9%, to $20.75 an ounce,
- Platinum was unchanged at $1,454 an ounce, and
- Palladium rose $5.50, or 0.7%, to $768 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in March
Sales totals for United States Mint bullion coins were unchanged Wednesday as of 4:33 p.m. ET.
On Monday, the U.S. Mint began selling the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin, the first of five 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. The Mint today said sales of the coins reached 10,500 as of Tuesday.
Below is a sales breakdown across U.S. Mint bullion products with columns offering the number of bullion coins sold last week, the week-to-date, last month, the month-to-date, and the year-to-date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday Sales||Sales Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||February Sales||March Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||8,700||100||N/A||8,800||8,800|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||4,000||3,500||22,000||8,500||93,000|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||3,000||2,000||17,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||4,000||0||10,000||4,000||42,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||15,000||0||50,000||25,000||235,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,500||3,500||12,000||9,000||62,500|
|$1 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||1,200,000||843,000||3,750,000||3,143,000||11,668,000|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Bullion Coins||0||N/A||10,500||N/A||10,500||10,500|