Gold, silver, other metals fall sharply as inflation expectations ease and China slows

Prices for gold, silver and other metals are falling sharply, slowing a comeback they've had since taking a historic plunge in mid-April.

Gold fell $25.90, or 1.8 per cent, to $1,446.20 an ounce Wednesday. Silver fell 3.5 per cent and copper fell 3.4 per cent.

Traders dumped gold as more signs emerged that inflation would remain at bay. A private survey released Wednesday indicated a sharp slowdown in hiring this month.

Traders tend to buy gold when they are fearful of inflation, and sell it when they expect inflation to be tame.

Gold traders have been expecting the Federal Reserve to consider when and how to trim back its bond-purchasing program, which many fear may result in inflation. The Fed said Wednesday it was ready to increase or reduce its purchases as needed.