NEW YORK - Gold fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday, the biggest daily drop since its historic decline in mid-April, as investors sold off a range of commodities, and caution prevailed ahead of a policy statement by the Federal Reserve. Silver dropped 4 percent and platinum group metals fell 2 percent, tracking sharp losses in industrial commodities led by crude oil and copper. Signs of slowing manufacturing growth both in the United States and China weighed down on demand hopes for industrial commodities and hit gold’s inflation-hedge appeal.

Investor jitters ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s comments about the U.S. monetary outlook also triggered some bullion selling, traders said.

Still, bullion has recovered more than half the $225-per-ounce loss it incurred between April 12 and 16, driven by strong physical demand around the world especially in top bullion consumers China and India.