Gold prices dipped on Wednesday after just-released minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting showed the central bank wanted to review more data befire making future rate decisions, stopping short of suggesting a planned series of rate cuts. That disappointed gold longs hoping the Fed would have sounded more dovish.
Gold prices fell in response to the news, but remained above the key $1,500 level. Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $1.45, or 0.1%, to $1,514.25 per ounce by 2:40 PM ET (18:40 GMT). Bullion had moved back and forth between $1,500 earlier in the week as some investors bet the Fed wouldn’t add to its dovish tone ahead of its closely-watched Aug 22-24 Jackson Hole, Wyo. symposium.
Gold futures for December delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, fell $3.20, or 0.2%, to $1,504.21 in post-settlement trade. It ended the session unchanged at $1,515.70.
According to the Fed’s July meeting minutes, it was important to assess incoming economic data to determine the future path of monetary policy.
"Members generally agreed that it was important to maintain optionality in setting the future target range for the federal funds rate and, more generally, that near-term adjustments of the stance of monetary policy would appropriately remain dependent on the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook," the central bank said.
It added that most participants viewed the quarter-point policy easing they agreed to in July as “part of a recalibration of the stance of policy, or mid-cycle adjustment” without agreeing to an aggressive follow-through plan of rate cuts.
The Fed cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a range of 2.0% to 2.25% from 2.25% to 2.5% on July 31.
Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda, said prior to the release of the July meeting minutes that gold would likely be in “wait-and-see mode ahead of the two Fed events this week”, referring also to Jackson Hole.
Powell, under repeated pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to do more to support the economy, is expected to provide an update on the outlook for monetary policy when he delivers a speech there on Friday.
Erlam noted, however, that gold looked overbought and could be in for a correction.
“Any signal that a rate cut next month isn’t a foregone conclusion, or that (the Fed) may hold off, could be the catalyst for a broader pullback,” Erlam said.
Stephen Innes, managing partner at VM Markets, warned that recent rhetoric around pumping fiscal stimulus could also be negative for gold.
“A deluge of fiscal policy (stimulus) is widely believed to be one of the few if not only solutions that can stabilize bond yields, which could hurt gold haven demand,” he said in a note.
More than $16 trillion in bonds worldwide offer negative yields currently, the latest being a new German 30-year bond, which was auctioned at an average yield of -0.11% earlier Wednesday. The bond was the first 30-year Germany has sold with a 0% coupon.
In a landmark move Wednesday the German government decided to scrap the Solidarity Surcharge on income tax for most of the population. The Soli had been introduced shortly after German reunification in 1990.
Gold Dips as Fed Meeting Minutes Show No Plan for Series of Rate Cuts