Gold Holds Above $1,600 as Fed Keeps Printing $85 Billion Monthly

On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, decreased $3.80 to close at $1,607.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May edged 3 cents lower to finish at $28.82.

Both precious metals held steady as the Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its current quantitative easing programs in place. The central bank will continue to purchase $40 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion in longer-term Treasury securities each month.

With high unemployment levels, and low inflation according to the Federal Reserve, the central bank believes the benefits of QE still outweigh the risks.

“Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable. Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.  The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate.  The Committee continues to see downside risks to the economic outlook.  The Committee also anticipates that inflation over the medium term likely will run at or below its 2 percent objective.”

By the end of the trading day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed 0.45 percent lower, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) dipped 0.43 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) both finished flat. Meanwhile, First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) managed to squeeze out a modest 0.12 percent gain.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS