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Gold Futures Settle Notably Lower

Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday, weighed down by the Federal Reserve's decision to not announce any additional stimulus to support the economy.

The dollar mostly stayed weak today and equities tumbled as well, but the precious metal still failed to find support. Traders presumably looked to cut down positions to raise funds for margin requirements.

Gold futures for December ended down $20.60 or about 1.1% at $1,949.90 an ounce, after hitting a low of $1,938.20 an ounce around mid-morning.

Silver futures for December closed lower by $0.376 at $27.100 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.0710 per pound, down $0.0100 from the previous close.

On Wednesday, the Fed left interest rates unchanged, said low rates will continue through 2023, and retained its asset purchase program.

In his post-meeting press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell cautioned that the pace of the economic recovery is expected to slow and urged for fiscal stimulus from Congress to sustain the recovery.

Data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims slipped to 860,000 in the week ended September 12th, a decrease of 33,000 from the previous week's revised level of 893,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 850,000 from the 884,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A report from the Commerce Department said housing starts tumbled by 5.1% to an annual rate of 1.416 million in August after soaring by 17.9% percent to a revised rate of 1.492 million in July.

Economists had expected housing starts to pullback by 1.2% to a rate of 1.478 million from the 1.496 million originally reported for the previous month.

The Commerce Department said building permits also fell by 0.9% to an annual rate of 1.470 million in August after spiking by 17.9% to a revised rate of 1.483 million in July. Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to increase by 1.7% in August.

A separate report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity.

The Bank of England's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to hold the interest rate at 0.10%, as widely expected. The bank also retained the size of the asset purchase programme at GBP 745 billion and said the existing stance on monetary policy remains appropriate and that it does not intend to tighten policy until there is clear evidence that significant progress is being made in sustainably achieving the 2% inflation target.

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