On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for August delivery, the most active contract, increased $1.50 to close at $1,247.40 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September edged 3 cents higher to finish at $19.17.
Both precious metals were relatively quiet before and after the Federal Reserve released its latest policy minutes. About half of the central bank’s 19 senior officials said quantitative easing should be stopped by the end of this year. However, 14 participants believe the first increase in the target federal funds rate should not come until sometime in 2015.
The minutes said: “Others were concerned that stating an intention to slow the pace of asset purchases, even if the intention were conditional on the economy developing about in line with the Committee’s expectations, might be misinterpreted as signaling an end to the addition of policy accommodation or even be seen as the initial step toward exit from the Committee’s highly accommodative policy stance. It was suggested that any statement about asset purchases make clear that decisions concerning the pace of purchases are distinct from decisions concerning the federal funds rate.”