Updated from 12:08 p.m. EST with Fed policy announcement and settlement prices
NEW YORK (
Gold for February delivery added $8.30 to settle at $1,717.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
The Federal Open Market Committee -- the policy-making arm of the central bank -- said it would begin to purchase $45 billion of longer-term Treasury bonds per month for an open-ended period, and that it would keep rates low at least for as long as the U.S. unemployment rate remained above 6.5%. The new stimulus would replace Operation Twist, which concludes by the end of 2012.The central bank said it would maintain the monthly $40 billion open-ended, mortgage-backed security purchasing program it implemented in September. An increasing number of economists and analysts had predicted that the Fed would implement some sort of increase in monetary stimulus in the latest Federal Open Market Committee (the Fed's policy-making arm) meeting. "I think there's going to be an extension of either the Operation Twist or expanding the balance sheet to purchase long-term treasuries," said Jeb Handwerger, editor of GoldStockTrades.com. "So we think that the Fed is going to do whatever it can, including a fresh round of bond buying, to support the economic recovery."
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