Gold fell below $1,200 an ounce for the first time in almost two years Thursday as traders anticipated an eventual end to the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus program.
River City Gold and Silver Exchange, in La Crosse, has seen many ups and downs over the past two years.
Owner Alan Louis said it's not necessarily a bad time to sell scrap gold and silver because the price is still high compared to 2005.
"Gold and silver is the mining companies' weak spot," Louis said. "So they'll probably shut down production because the cost of getting the gold and silver out of the ground is more than the price of the actual metal right now."
If you're looking to invest in gold, Louis recommends investing slowly over the course of a year which should mean you will catch some highs to go along with the lows.
Gold for August delivery lost $18.20, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $1,211.60 an ounce. It went as low as $1,196 an ounce, the first time it traded below $1,200 since August 2010.
The price of gold has been falling sharply since last week, when the Fed said it could wind down its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by the middle of next year, as long as the economy continues to improve. Gold traded at $1,350 an ounce before the Fed made its announcement last Wednesday.
Other metals were mixed after a broad sell-off the day before.
Silver for July delivery fell 5.4 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $18.533 an ounce.
July platinum rose $21.50, or 1.6 percent, to $1,325.20 an ounce and September palladium rose $17.45, or 2.8 percent, to $650.70 an ounce. July copper rose 1.15 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.0525 a pound.
Crop prices were lower. The actively traded contract for wheat delivered in September fell 3.25 cents to $6.7375 a bushel. Corn for December delivery fell 5.5 cents to $5.3850 a bushel. Soybeans for November delivery edged down 0.75 cent to $12.7525 a bushel.
Crude oil for August delivery rose $1.55, or 1.6 percent, to finish at $97.05 a barrel in New York. Oil has gained nearly 4 percent this week, after a sharp drop last Thursday and Friday on the Fed news.
In other energy trading, heating oil rose 4 cents to end at $2.89 a gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to finish at $2.74 a gallon.
Natural gas futures fell after the Energy Department said supplies rose more than expected last week. Natural gas fell 16 cents, or 4.1 percent, to end at $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet, the lowest price since March 6.
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