CHICAGO, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's announcement to cut its monthly asset purchases by 10 billion dollars, bringing them to 75 billion dollars starting January.
The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 4.9 dollars, or 0.40 percent, to settle at 1,235 dollars per ounce.
Immediately after the Fed's statement, gold prices fell from their COMEX settlement price then recovered to trade a bit higher in electronic trading.
The precious metal traded in a narrow trading range for most of the day until the investors had the results from the Fed. Market analysts believe the modest trim of 10 billion dollars was not enough to trigger any kind of sell off for gold.
Gold may slump 14 percent next year on speculation that the Fed will curb stimulus measures in the U.S., reducing demand for the precious metal as an investment asset, according to report released by Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics of Australia Wednesday.
Silver for March delivery rose 21.9 cents, or 1.10 percent, to close at 20.059 dollars per ounce.