Metals Stocks: Gold slips ahead of Fed statement

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Gold prices fell on Wednesday, losing ground as investors jumped back in to equities ahead of the key Federal Reserve statement later in the day.

Gold for February delivery GCG5, -0.26% dropped $ 4, or 0.3%, to $ 1,287.70 an ounce, while March silver futures SIH5, -0.27% lost 7 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 18.01 an ounce.

On Tuesday, gold prices enjoyed another move higher, after a sharp, unexpected fall in U.S. durable-goods orders hammered equities and spurred demand for safe-haven plays.

The Fed will release a policy statement at 2 p.m. Eastern, with traders looking for any hint as to when the central bank might start raising interest rates. Read: Doubts grow about mid-year rate hike.

Currency analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman downplayed the importance of the meeting.

“If the Fed wants to prepare the market for a potential rate hike in the middle of the year, the March meeting, which will see updated macro-economic forecasts and a press conference, is more important,” they said in a note cited by Kitco.

In other metals, platinum for April delivery PLJ5, -0.10%  rose 20 cents to $ 1,264.50 an ounce, while palladium for March delivery PAH5, +0.89%  gained $ 6.60 to $ 787.35 an ounce.

High-grade copper for March delivery HGH5, +0.63%  tacked on 2 cents to $ 2.48 a pound.


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