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Gold prices tumble as Fed talks higher rates

Published Sep 21, 2023 14:18
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Investing.com-- Gold prices fell on Thursday after the Federal Reserve warned that U.S. interest rates will remain higher for longer, with investors sharply lowering their price expectations for the yellow metal in the coming months.

Gold futures expiring in December- the most traded contract on New York’s Comex, slid 1%, or nearly $20, to $1,948.05 an ounce, indicating that traders were pricing in much lower gold prices in the coming months, especially amid a higher rate outlook.

Spot gold had a relatively subdued reaction to the Fed, falling 0.1% to $1,928.12 an ounce by 23:50 ET (03:50 GMT). 

Other precious metals also logged steep losses, with platinum futures down 0.6%, while silver tumbled nearly 2%. 

Fed sees higher-for-longer rates, fewer cuts in 2024

The central bank held interest rates steady on Wednesday, as widely expected.

But Chair Jerome Powell warned that recent increases in inflation and resilience in the labor market gives the Fed more headroom to keep interest rates higher. Powell also raised the possibility of at least one more rate hike this year.

Powell’s speech struck a much more hawkish tone than markets were expecting, with the Fed chair also forecasting that U.S. rates will trend around 5.1% through 2024.

The forecast shows only two potential rate cuts next year, which is lesser than the four that markets were pricing in.

The Fed also cited resilience in the U.S. economy and downplayed the prospect of a U.S. recession- a scenario that heralds weaker safe haven demand for gold.

But the prospect of higher-for-longer U.S. rates is expected to be the main weight on gold in the coming months, given that rising rates push up the opportunity cost of investing in non-yielding assets. 

Copper creeps higher, but down for the week 

Among industrial metals, copper prices rose slightly after logging steep losses earlier this week. 

Copper futures rose 0.2% to $3.7453 a pound, but were down 1.5% for the week.

The red metal took some support from signs of resilience in the U.S. economy, which could keep industrial activity and copper demand supported in the coming months.

Focus was also on any more stimulus measures from China, with the People’s Bank of China also stating that it was ready to roll out more monetary support, if needed.

But the PBOC kept its loan prime rates unchanged on Wednesday, as it struggles to strike a balance between fostering economic growth and preventing weakness in the yuan.

Gold prices tumble as Fed talks higher rates
 

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