Precious Metals Hold Steady, Fed Keeps QE at $85 Billion

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for August delivery fell $11.60 to close at $1,312.40 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September edged 5 cents lower to finish at $19.63.

Both precious metals closed lower in the futures market, following news that the nation’s gross domestic product expanded at an annualized 1.7 percent pace in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That was higher than estimates calling for an increase of around 1.0 percent. However, the growth rate of the economy in the first quarter was revised lower, from 1.8 percent to only 1.1 percent.

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In afternoon trading, gold and silver investments trimmed losses after the U.S. Federal Reserve released its latest Federal Open Market Committee statement. As expected, the central bank decided to keep its bond-purchasing programs in place.

The FOMC statement says: “To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee decided to continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month.”

Despite the better-than-expected GDP figure, the Federal Reserve said it sees economic activity expanding at a “modest pace,” representing a slight downgrade from the previous “moderate pace” mentioned in the June FOMC statement.

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By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed 0.12 percent lower, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained 0.58 percent. Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) shares dropped 1.3 percent, but shares of First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) increased almost 0.80 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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