This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Gold Prices Plummet as Fed Considers End to Stimulus (Update 1)

Updated from 1:17 p.m. EST with settlement prices

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices plummeted Friday, a day after the Federal Reserve released minutes that reported mixed sentiment among Fed members about the central bank's extremely loose monetary policy. Gold dropped 0.85% on Thursday.

Gold for February delivery plunged $25.70, or 1.5%, to settle at $1648.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,664.50 and as low as $1,626 an ounce, while the spot price was sinking $11.90, according to Kitco's gold index.

" A market that has been so badly hooked on a single drug (QE-ludes?) will have a problem when the pusher even remotely signals that supplies may be drying up," Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco, wrote in a note on Friday.

Silver prices for March delivery shed 77 cents, to $29.24 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was climbing 0.07% to $80.57.

The Federal Open Market Committee -- the Fed's policy-making wing -- said Thursday that there were potential risks to financial stability over a disorderly finish to the fiscal cliff, impending disagreements about raising the debt ceiling and possible deterioration of conditions in Europe.

Major U.S. equity markets and gold prices sank immediately after the Fed minutes revealed that members expressed mixed opinions as to how much longer the open-ended mortgage-backed securities purchases and longer-term Treasury bond purchases should last.

"A few" of the members said ongoing stimulus would be warranted until the end of 2013, according to the minutes, while "several" others thought it would probably be appropriate to slow or end the programs "well before" the end of this year. Still, others said there was a need to continue considerable policy accommodation.

Simply, analysts and gold investors generally view the quantitative easing measures implemented by the Fed as inflationary policy, which makes gold a safe-haven asset to defend against inflation.

Gold prices have soared since the Fed and the U.S. government began massive stimulus packages meant to prop up the tumbling economy in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Gold prices came off their lows Friday after an announcement the unemployment rate ticked higher to 7.8% in December from the previous month's 7.7%. The Fed stated last month that it would keep interest rates near zero until unemployment reached 6.5%, and with the rate moving further from that target it likely gave investors some hope that it would give the central bank some incentive to maintain its current policies.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AEM $32.55 0.00%
GOLD $73.57 0.00%
GLD $115.60 0.00%
IAU $11.65 0.00%
KGC $2.41 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs