September FOMC Meeting - How Might Gold Respond

The Federal Reserve will conclude its September FOMC meeting and release a written statement at 2 PM EDT today. This will be followed by Chairman Powell’s press conference a half-hour later.

It is widely anticipated that the Federal Reserve will raise the “Fed funds rate” by 75 basis points. The CME’s FedWatch tool is forecasting that there is an 84% probability of a 75-basis point hike, and a 16% probability that the Fed will raise rates by a full percentage point.

In the unlikely event that the Federal Reserve raises its benchmark interest rate by 1%, it would most certainly pressure gold to lower pricing.

According to MarketWatch, “economists at the brokerage Nomura Securities … became the first on Wall Street to predict a full-percentage-point increase in the Fed’s benchmark short-term rate.”

Weekly Gold Futures Chart

However, if the Fed raises rates by 75 basis points as expected market participants could see some short-covering activity amid a relief rally. As of 5:05 PM EDT yesterday gold futures basis, the most active December contract is trading five dollars lower and is fixed at $1673.20.

The hard truth is that after four consecutive rate hikes beginning in March inflation remains extremely elevated and persistent. The latest data revealed that the CPI index had a slight decline from July’s 8.5% to 8.3% in August. While the headline CPI had a fractional decline the core CPI which strips out food and energy costs increased 0.6% more than double the prior month’s increase. This means that the core inflation rate climbed to 6.3% from 5.9% in August.

Because the August core inflation rate is three times the 2% target the Federal Reserve wants to achieve members of the Federal Reserve will continue the exceedingly hawkish tone expressed at the Jackson Hole economic symposium. Continue reading "September FOMC Meeting - How Might Gold Respond"