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Gold Reaction To Fed Taper Muted
Posted April 30th, 2014

TANGIBLE INVESTMENTS - Los Angeles - by James O'Dell - Gold and silver prices were mixed on Wednesday in choppy trade with gold edging up modestly to $1,296.10 an ounce in early trade while Silver dipped sharply to $19.18 an ounce on reports that the U.S. economy grew by a dismal 0.1 percent in the first quarter. Economists are blaming the harsh winter weather for the economy having lost as much as 1.4 percent GDP growth during that period but were still expecting to see a 1.3 percent expansion in the economy.
 
Despite the tepid beginning to the year for the economy, the Fed has decided for a fourth consecutive month to scale back its massive quantitative easing (QE) program by yet another $10 billion each month. The central bank announced at the conclusion of its two day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Wednesday that it will now purchase $20 billion each month in mortgage backed securities and $25 billion in longer term Treasuries.

Policymakers left the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent, where it has languished since 2008. The central bank, sounding much as it did in last month's statement, said the economy "will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will continue to improve gradually." Gold barely reacted to the policy statement, easing a bit to $1,293.10 an ounce but a positive ADP report showing increased hiring was released today as well, and could represent a part of the move in gold.
 
Meanwhile, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) released clearing statistics for March on Wednesday, and it shows that the gold price rose by 2.7 percent in March, averaging $1,336 an ounce, while silver prices fell 0.4 percent and averaged $20.74 an ounce. The amount of gold transferred by the LBMA in March averaged 18.9 million ounces per day, a 6.2 percent rise month-on-month.

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