Gold and silver prices edged lower in rangebound trade on Thursday, amid growing speculation the Federal Reserve will start to reduce stimulus measures at next week’s policy meeting.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery traded at USD1,254.60 a troy ounce during European morning trade, down 0.2%. Comex gold prices held in a tight range between USD1,250.70 a troy ounce and USD1,256.50 a troy ounce.
Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,237.40 a troy ounce, the low from December 10 and resistance at USD1,267.50, the high from December 10.
The February contract settled 0.31% lower on Wednesday to end at USD1,257.20 a troy ounce after a bipartisan budget deal from Congress raised expectations that the Fed could start to taper its bond-buying program at next week''s policy meeting.
The central bank is scheduled to meet December 17-18 to review the economy and assess monetary policy.
Investors looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day to further gauge the strength of the economy and the need for stimulus.
The U.S. is to produce data on retail sales as well as the weekly report on initial jobless claims.
Gold is down approximately 26% this year, heading for the first annual loss in 13 years, as solid U.S. economic data underlined expectations the Fed will begin curbing stimulus.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for March delivery shed 0.4% to trade at USD20.28 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery inched up 0.3% to trade at USD3.305 a pound. the highest level since November 1.
Copper traders awaited updates from China’s annual Central Economic Work Conference, which began on Tuesday, where policymakers will set economic growth targets and policy priorities for 2014.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
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