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Gold Prices Slip on World Bank's Soft Economic Outlook (Update 1)

But minutes reported on Jan. 3 by the Federal Open Market Committee -- the policy-making wing of the Fed -- revealed a split in sentiment among the voting members on when these easing programs should end. Some of them expressed that easing should conclude well before the end of 2013, while a few others believed stimulus should end at the conclusion of 2013. Still others said very accommodative policy should continue for an extended amount of time.

The surprise announcement reversed gains that day and continued to sink gold into the following week.

Platinum prices surpassed gold on Tuesday for the first time since March 2012, which has led some analysts to predict that a higher price in the white precious metal would encourage a boost in the yellow metal.

Platinum climbed $4.20 to $1,694.10 an ounce on Wednesday.

"Gold has been lagging this latest move and these two metals have had a history of moving in conjunction with each other," Joseph Cusick, market analyst at optionsXpress, wrote late Tuesday night. "A break of resistance in Platinum, $1735, could be the catalyst Gold traders have been waiting for the last few weeks."

The euro enjoyed a brief rally after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced last Thursday that he expected the eurozone to see some growth in the second half of 2013. The comments boosted the euro against the U.S. dollar, a streak that came to an end on Tuesday. The euro was sinking Wednesday to $1.3292 against the greenback, from the prior day's settlement at $1.3305.

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower on Wednesday. Shares of Eldorado Gold (EGO - Get Report) were sliding 1.7%, and shares of Goldcorp (GG - Get Report) were shedding 1.1%.

Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold (AUY) was down 1%, and Kinross Gold (NEM) was losing 0.72%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and iShares Gold Trust (IAU) were inching higher by 0.2%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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