Gold Futures at $1,196.60 an Ounce, Down 28% for 2013

Spot gold prices held steady today, but gold futures fell and headed for their largest annual loss since 2000. Reuters said gold has shed about 28 percent in 2013 due to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus tapering. In previous years, gold has increased to all-time highs thanks to accommodative monetary policies and low interest rates.

“As soon as short-term interest rates start rising then you can’t afford to invest in something that doesn’t pay yield like gold…,” Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet told Reuters.

MarketWatch also reported how the Fed’s monthly bond purchases have helped gold prices in the past, but they will come to an end in late 2014.

Gold futures for February delivery were trading at $1,196.60 an ounce in New York, down $7.10 from the previous session, MarketWatch reported.

Spot gold was up $1.19 to $1,197.66 an ounce.