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Gold prices returned to near mid-$1,700 levels on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s widely-expected taper of its long-running stimulus for the U.S. economy.

U.S. gold futures’ most active contract, December, settled down $25.50, or 1.4%, at $1,763.90 an ounce.

The Fed will issue its monthly monetary policy statement at 2:00 PM ET (18:00 GMT), where the central bank is expected to lay out the timetable for reducing the $120 billion it has spending monthly over the past year on bonds and other asset purchases to support the economy in the midst of the COVID-19.

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