goldGold slides to near 2-1/2 year low after Fed comments xau= – RTRS

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – Gold and silver prices slid to multi-year lows on Thursday, hurt by a signal from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it plans to rein in its ultra-loose monetary policy, a key driver of higher bullion prices.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed late on Wednesday that U.S. economic growth was strong enough to begin tapering its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases later this year.

Spot gold XAU= hit its lowest since January 2011 at $1,312.50 an ounce and was down 2.7 percent at $1,314.50 an ounce at 0800 GMT. U.S. gold futures GCv1 for August delivery were down $59.90 an ounce at $1,314.10.

Silver XAG= was down 5.3 percent at $20.22 an ounce, after reaching its weakest since September 2010 at $20.09.



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