As speculation swirls that the Federal Reserve will begin tapering off its quantitative easing program, gold prices have now fallen to their lowest level in more than two weeks. Also palladium prices dropped from their two-month high, reports Bloomberg’s Nicholas Larkin.

Gold prices

Signs Of An Improving U.S. Economy

On Monday Standard & Poor’s raised the U.S. credit outlook from negative to stable. The credit ratings agency said the financial risks which have existed in the U.S. economy are receding. Last month Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said they might begin tapering off their bond buying program, which is currently at $85 billion worth of bonds every month. The Fed said they’re looking for signs that the U.S. economy is improving.

Updates On Gold Prices

This morning at the Comex, gold for delivery in August fell to $1,374.80 per ounce, a decline of .8 percent. Then they dropped to $1,365.80, which Larkin reports is the lowest price since May 23. Gold futures trading volume stayed about the same as it has over the last 100 days for the morning, according to Bloomberg.

Gold for delivery now in London also dropped .8 percent to $1,375.45.

Volatility In Gold Prices

Sixty-day gold historical volatility rose to 28.8 percent, which Bloomberg says is the highest level since December 2011. Gold prices dropped by 2.3 percent June 7 after indications that payrolls in the U.S. rose more than expected in May.

Overall this year, gold prices have fallen 18 percent, largely due to the strengthening U.S. economy. Exchange-traded product holdings dropped to 2,129.8 tons on Monday, a decline of 6.1 metric tons. That’s the lowest level since April 2011.

Silver, Platinum And Palladium Prices

Silver for delivery in July dropped to $21.59 per ounce, a decline of 1.5 percent, in New York. Platinum for delivery in July also fell, losing .9 percent to fall to $1,493.50 per ounce. Also palladium for delivery in September fell .8 percent to $763.55 per ounce today after hitting $772.50 on Monday, the highest level since April.