Precious metals prices were sliding Tuesday as traders waited for the Federal Open Market Committee's policy statement, due at 2:15 p.m. EDT.
Benchmark contracts for gold bullion recently were off $4.30 at $679 an ounce, while prices for silver were lower by 5 cents at $12.99 an ounce.
The exchange-traded funds which hold reserves of bullion, the
streetTracks Gold Shares
iShares Silver Trust
, were lower as well.
Among stocks, platinum producer
reported a loss of 3 cents a share for the second quarter, even with its losses for the same period a year ago. The company said labor negotiations during the recent period affected its results.
Shares of Stillwater were declining 7.5% to $8.25.
Harmony Gold Mining
was sliding for the second straight session after the firm's CEO took investors by surprise Monday by stepping down amid a weak earnings report. Shares recently were off about 13% at $9.56, on top of a 10% fall Monday.
As for base metals, prices for copper contracts recently were ahead by 2 cents at $3.49 a pound.
Elsewhere, Morgan Joseph upgraded scrap metal processor
to a buy rating from hold and pinned on a stock price target of $9 a share. The stock recently was trading up about 1% at $7.49.
Turning to the foreign exchange markets, the dollar was seeing mixed action. Euros were trading for $1.377, down from $1.3783 late Monday. Dollars were changing hands for 118.52 yen, vs. 119.09 yen previously. The pound was buying $2.022, down from $2.03 a day earlier.
In the agricultural sector, wheat prices were up 5 cents at $6.89 a bushel, while prices for soybeans were down 3 cents at $8.47 a bushel.