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Gold Hits 4-Week High with FOMC Minutes Getting Mixed Reviews
Aug 20, 2015 19:03CST
The FOMC Minutes moved gold higher slightly on afternoon US trade.

By  Paul Ploumis 20 Aug 2015  Last updated at  03:16:53 GMT

(Kitco News) - Gold prices were moderately higher in afternoon trading Wednesday, in the wake of much-anticipated FOMC minutes that contained something for both the U.S. monetary policy hawks and the doves, but which moved gold prices only slightly higher. Gold scored a four-week high Wednesday on safe-haven demand amid market place worries about China’s stock market and financial system. December Comex gold was last up $12.60 at $1,129.80 an ounce. September Comex silver was last up $0.455 at $15.245 an ounce.

The Wednesday afternoon early release (one news service broke the embargo) of the FOMC minutes from last month’s meeting saw traders and investors looking for further clues on the precise timing of the expected upcoming U.S. interest rate hike. The Fed said it will continue to monitor upcoming economic data in order to determine the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike. The minutes said the Fed is also concerned about recent developments with China’s economy. While the monetary policy hawks and doves debated the FOMC minutes, the U.S. dollar saw a solid sell-off in the wake of the minutes, which would favor the doves. Gold prices got just a slight boost in the aftermath of the FOMC minutes.

The big data day of the trading week Wednesday also saw the U.S. consumer price index for July released, coming in at up 0.2%. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.1% in July. The overall CPI figure was expected to be up 0.2% in July. Gold prices saw a brief bump up in prices following this data, as the CPI figure falls into the camp of the monetary policy doves who do not want to see the Fed raise U.S. interest rates any time soon. However, it can also be argued the deflationary tone of the CPI and other world inflation data are bearish for raw commodities, including gold.

The Chinese stock market again sold off sharply in early trading Wednesday, but then rebounded to finish above unchanged by the end of the day. But reports said the rebound in the Shanghai stock index Wednesday was mostly due to the Chinese government being the biggest buyer. Other Asian and European stock markets were under selling pressure Wednesday, on worries about the health of China’s economy and its financial markets. Last week China’s central bank devalued the Chinese yuan by around 3%. The worry Chinese monetary officials have now is that capital outflows from China will occur due to the weaker yuan. There is also talk among Asian market watchers that China will soon announce further monetary policy stimulus measures to support its wobbly economy.

The Minneapolis Fed’s Kocherlakota said in a newspaper op-ed story Wednesday that deflationary price pressures are a threat to world economies and that the Fed should not raise interest rates during such a scenario, and in fact should be further easing U.S. monetary policy.

The London P.M. gold fix is $1,126.15 versus the previous A.M. fix of $1,123.20.

Courtesy: Kitco News

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