Gold falls as Fed rate outlook disappoints

Parvez Jabri August 1, 2019

Gold prices fell on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, as markets priced in the move and a lack of dovish outlook failed to cheer investors.

Financial markets had widely expected the quarter-percentage-point rate cut, which lowered the US central bank’s benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 2.00% to 2.25%.

The Fed said it will “continue to monitor” how incoming information will affect the economy, adding that it “will act as appropriate to sustain” a record-long US economic expansion.

Spot gold was down 0.8% at $1,417 an ounce at 2:38 p.m. EDT (1838 GMT), while US gold futures were also down 0.8% at $1,418.30. Spot gold prices fell 1% to an intra-day low of $1415.87 after the Fed announcement.

“The market was looking for a dovish cut and did not get it … And language in statement did not strongly indicate forthcoming cuts even though the door is open,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO

Expectations for an interest rate cut by the Fed and other leading central banks, which would cut the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding gold, have put the metal on track for a 0.6% gain for July.

“Aside from the FOMC meeting, there remain a number of ongoing risk events to provide price direction to bullion, namely the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit and a lack of progress between the US and China in trade negotiations,” MKS PAMP said in a note.

US President Donald Trump warned China against waiting out his presidency before finalising a trade deal, saying the outcome could be no agreement or a harsher one if he wins re-election in November 2020.

“So far, because of the fact (bond) yields have been falling and the technical structure has been bullish, traders have been happy to pick gold at the dips,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst with Forex.com.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.9% to $16.43 an ounce, and platinum jumped 0.9% to $873.85 per ounce, both on track for a second straight month of gains.

Palladium rose 0.7% to $1,537 per ounce.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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