Gold today declined as investors weighed whether Federal Reserve Chairman Ben.S. Bernanke will hint at fresh stimulus measures in a speech later this week.

The precious metal fell 0.22 per cent to $1,663 an ounce. Prices reached $1,676.90 on August 27, the highest since April 13. Silver fell by 0.2 per cent to $30.82 an ounce.

Bullion reached a four-month high on August 27 as investors speculated that the US central bank will embark on a third round of quantitative easing.

Ben.S. Bernanke will deliver a speech about monetary policy at the central bank’s symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on August 31. Holdings in gold-backed exchange- traded products are at a record.

A report showed yesterday the biggest drop in the US consumer confidence in 10 months, helping fuel speculation that the Fed will step up measures to stimulate growth.

Ben.S. Bernanke’s address on monetary policy in 2010 preceded a second round of quantitative easing to help support the economic recovery.

Holdings in bullion-backed ETPs gained 5.3 tonnes to a record 2,457 tonnes, overtaking Italy as the world’s third largest hoard when compared with national reserves, the International Monetary Fund data show. Only the US and Germany hold more.

(This article was published on August 29, 2012)
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