CHICAGO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell Thursday as investors speculated that an improving U.S. economy provided backing for the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
The most active gold contract for December delivery fell 14.1 U. S. dollars, or 1.09 percent, to settle at 1,282.8 dollars per ounce.
Analysts said that gold retreated for a third straight day, as investors weighed the implications of robust economic growth and signs of rising wage inflation on the central bank's policy.
In its announcement released after a two-day policy meeting, the Fed noted the recent decline in unemployment. "Labor market conditions have improved, with the unemployment rate declining further," it said.
Meanwhile, inflation "has moved somewhat closer" to the Fed's 2 percent annual target and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable, it added.
"The Committee sees the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced and judges that the likelihood of inflation running persistent below 2 percent has diminished somewhat," the Fed said.
Silver for September delivery lost 18.5 cents, or 0.9 percent, to close at 20.412 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery lost 16.7 dollars, or 1.13 percent, to close at 1,465.2 dollars per ounce.