NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The World Gold Council said Monday that gold prices began to stabilize after the Federal Reserve in December announced it would scale back its economic stimulus program.

The Fed at the end of 2013 announced that it would scale back its asset purchases by $10 billion, and again in January cut back purchases by another $10 billion, leaving the program at $65 billion a month in purchases of longer-term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

After the central bank announced that it would reduce the scale of its monetary stimulus, investors started to adjust their expectations in the gold market, World Gold Council Managing Director of Investment Will Rhind said Monday in a meeting with reporters.

Rhind said that the Fed's decision to taper suggested a fundamental shift in which U.S. monetary policy no longer would have the same magnitude of influence on the gold market it has had since the 2008 financial crisis.

"Therefore, while the gold market may encounter challenges in 2014, we expect it will also open opportunities for many investors who are waiting on the sidelines while the gold price stabilizes," the organization wrote in a recent commentary.

The gold price fell nearly 30% in 2013, the first yearly drop in a decade and the worst year since 1981, and is well off its all-time high reached in September 2011. The World Gold Council noted that the gold price as of Dec. 20, 2013 has fallen some 37% from that all-time high.

In the meeting, the organization said the all-in production costs for gold miners is around $1,200 an ounce. A drop below that level would not have a significant effect on miners' production unless the price fell significantly under that price for a sustained period of time, World Gold Council Director of Investment Research Juan Carlos Artigas said.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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