Updated from 11:45 a.m. EST with settlement prices and comments from President Obama
NEW YORK (
Gold for February delivery lost $3 to settle at $1,667.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
"Each new fiscal cliff headline from Washington raises or lowers gold prices. The market looks heavy and technically weak for now," George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Wealth Management, wrote in a note Wednesday afternoon.Obama said Wednesday that he was optimistic a deal would get done, but he rejected House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" budget proposal. That rejection suggested to some investors that an agreement would not immediately be reached. Gold prices plummeted on Tuesday shortly after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the president had rejected Boehner's proposal. "Plan B" would include raising rates on those earning $1 million or more, implementing $1 trillion in spending cuts and locking in a process for tax and entitlement reform in 2013. Boehner said Tuesday that he expected the House of Representatives to vote on the measure later this week. The political-rhetoric game continued Wednesday morning as White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said the administration wouldn't accept "Plan B" because it places too big of a burden on the middle class. Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck criticized the president's opposition as "bizarre" and "irrational."