Silver futures edge lower on Fed uncertainty

London (Nov 18)  Silver prices edged lower on Monday, as ongoing uncertainty over the direction of U.S. monetary policy kept investors in a cautious mood.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver futures for December delivery traded at USD20.64 a troy ounce during European morning trade, down 0.4%.

Comex silver prices traded in a range between USD20.61 a troy ounce, the daily low and a session high of USD20.79.

The December contract inched up 0.02% on Friday to settle at USD20.72 a troy ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at USD20.41 a troy ounce, the low from November 13 and resistance at USD20.88, the high from November 14.

Weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data on Friday rekindled expectations that the Fed will delay plans to taper its stimulus program in the near-term.

The Empire state manufacturing index fell to -2.21 from 1.52 in October. Economists had forecast a rise to 5.0.

A separate report showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.1% in October, after rising by 0.7% in September, compared to expectations for a 0.2% increase.

Comments by Fed Chairwoman nominee Janet Yellen last week were seen as reiterating the need for continued stimulus to ensure a robust economic recovery.

Investors were turning their attention to the minutes of the Fed’s October meeting, as well as a speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday for further indications on the future course of U.S. monetary policy.

Silver prices are down approximately 32% this year on concerns the Fed would begin cutting back its easy-money policy by trimming its USD85-billion monthly bond purchasing program.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery shed 0.35% to trade at USD1,282.90 a troy ounce, while copper for December inched down 0.2% to trade at USD3.165 a pound