Gold and silver exchange traded funds were higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates and cut its economic outlook.
Growing uncertainty over the Greek bailout and Europe’s debt crisis also provided a tailwind for precious metals ETFs.
SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD) was up 0.9% at last check Wednesday while iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) rose 3.1%. In October, physical bullion holdings in exchange traded products increased 1% to 2,271.2 metric tons, rising the most in three months, Bloomberg reported.
Gold prices have rebounded after a brief dip below $1,700 an ounce earlier in the week.
In a press conference Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would consider further purchases of mortgage-backed bonds to stimulate the housing market if economic conditions justify the move. The Fed in its outlook said it now expects higher unemployment.
“There is a loss of trust in the entire financial system and urgent need for safe-haven investment,” Ronald Stoeferle at Erste Group Bank AG, said in a Bloomberg report. “The environment for gold is just perfect.”
The markets are also anticipating a potential third quantitative easing plan, which would further deface the value of the greenback and make gold more attractive to foreign investors. Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen has previously hinted at a third round of securities purchases if any slowdowns require further aid. [Silver ETFs Lead Declines in Precious Metals for Second Day]
“What happens to gold is going to hinge on what happens to the dollar, and that is going to be influenced by what happens in Europe and monetary policy,” Jason Schenker, the president of Prestige Economics LLC., said.
Precious metals observers will also be watching the European Central Bank’s decision on Thursday.
Additionally, the market is heading into a seasonally strong time of the year for physical demand for gold, notably demand from the traditional Indian wedding season.
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
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Max Chen contributed to this article.
Disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD and SLV.