OK, so the Fed has spoken. And gold prices today are still reacting to the Fed’s statements.
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There was no September Fed rate hike, which was pretty much expected. On that news, the dollar tanked and precious metals soared.
The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) was down from its pre-announcement peak near 96.40 Wednesday morning to 95.07 by Thursday morning. That’s a more than 125-basis-point swing in just over 24 hours, and a testament to the rising volatility surrounding some of the most important benchmarks.
The price of gold per ounce also climbed. Gold prices jumped nearly 2% from their low on Wednesday morning to their interim peak midday Thursday.
Despite the bullish signal from the Fed, officials still maintained that a rate hike is coming and likely in December. That’s assuming improvements in the labor market and the stronger U.S. economic activity continue from the previous few months.
We’ll look at how gold prices today are faring and what to expect from gold, but first, here’s a look back at how gold prices trended this week…
Gold Prices Today Climb After Solid Week
The price of gold per ounce struggled at the end of last week. On Friday, Sept. 16, gold prices opened for trading at $1,313 and headed south the rest of that day. By the close, gold had dropped to $1,310.
Then on Monday, Sept. 19, the market’s attention turned back to the pending FOMC meeting. But really, we got little real movement until Wednesday, when that meeting was over. Gold started Monday’s NY trading at $1,314 and moved sideways to end at $1,313.
Tuesday was very similar, with gold prices opening at $1,314 and drifting to close just a dollar higher at $1,315.
From midday Friday through Tuesday, the day before the FOMC announcement, the U.S. Dollar Index maintained considerable strength near 96. And that’s when the scales were tipped.
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Early Wednesday, as traders began to factor in the odds of a delayed rate hike, they began bidding up gold. It hit a low of $1,311 at 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, then ran up to $1,324 by the 8:00 a.m. open. By the close at 5:00 p.m., the price of gold had climbed to $1,335.
Of course, the DXY had sold off on the same news, swinging from a high near 96.40 to 95.07 by midmorning Thursday. That’s when gold had opened at $1,334 before closing at $1,337.
Here’s a look at the DXY’s action through all of this.
So what does all of this mean for gold going forward? Here’s what you need to know about gold prices today and where they are headed from here…
How High Will Gold Prices Climb Now?
Gold has been reacting strongly to the Fed’s decision not to raise rates. Gold futures managed to close at $1,345 on Thursday, just above their 50-day moving average at $1,337.
This will be a level to watch, as I’ve pointed out before. Momentum has turned up, but it’s still early. If gold doesn’t take out the last high of $1,355, then odds are more downside is still left.
But the Fed is not the only central bank supporting gold prices today. The Bank of Japan announced it would not introduce any new easing, but would maintain its negative 0.1% interest rate this week. The BOJ said it abandoned its targeted expansion of the monetary base, focusing instead on expansion aimed at getting the consumer price index to reach at least 2%.
This remains supportive for gold prices today. And so too does the nearing U.S. election.
But while these should help lift gold prices, my sense is the weakness that began in early August has yet to run its course. I think the markets will start to look forward to December, when a rate hike is more likely. Only time will tell.
Still, there are enough bullish drivers to help push gold near $1,400 over the next quarter.
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