Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped Monday ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting scheduled later this week. The most active gold contract for August delivery dropped 4.5 dollars, or 0.32 percent, to settle at 1,383.1 dollars per ounce. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is scheduled to conclude a two-day meeting on Wednesday, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference after the conclusion of the meeting. Most analysts do not expect the Fed to announce any scale-back of its bond-buying program immediately, nor do they think it likely that the central bank will announce more easing measures. Ever since Bernanke said in May that policy makers could move as early as in the \"next few meetings\" to begin scaling back the monthly bond purchases, the essence of the Fed\'s quantitative- easing strategy, U.S. treasury yields have risen substantially. Higher bond yields have made for a stronger dollar and made gold less attractive. A story carried by the Wall Street Journal last week also indicated that Bernanke wants to reassure investors that an eventual scale-down of the Fed\'s bond-buying program will not be accompanied by any immediate hike in interest rates. Silver for July delivery lost 19.6 cents, or 0.89 percent, to close at 21.758 dollars per ounce. Platinum for July delivery shed 12.6 dollars, or 0.87 percent, to close at 1,434.8 dollars per ounce.