The latest signs of strength in the U.S. economy prompted traders to dump gold and silver futures in anticipation of the Federal Reserve winding down its stimulus program.
Gold fell $15.30 to $1,231.90 an ounce Thursday. Silver fell 26 cents to $19.57 an ounce.
A surprise pickup in U.S. economic growth in the third quarter and plunging claims for unemployment benefits got metals traders thinking that a reduction in the Fed’s huge bond-buying program could be coming.
Traders had worried that the Fed’s stimulus would weaken the dollar and cause inflation, two reasons often cited for holding precious metals. With the end to the stimulus seeming to get closer, investors are finding fewer reasons to own gold and silver.
In other metals trading, copper for March delivery fell 2 cents to $3.23 a pound.
Platinum for January delivery fell $12.50 to $1,363.50 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery rose $7.60 to $736.85 an ounce.
In agricultural commodities trading, March wheat fell 9.75 cents to $6.52 a bushel.
March corn lost three cents to $4.335 a bushel, and January soybeans edged down 1.5 cents to $13.28 a bushel.