Investing.com – Sit and wait: That’s what the gold trading community seems to have decided ahead of Wednesday’s monetary policy update from the Federal Reserve and other central bank rate decisions due this week.
Gold’s most-active futures contract on New York’s Comex, , settled at $1953.70 ounce, up just 30 cents on the day.
The was at $1,932.09 by 15:49 ET (19:49 GMT). Spot gold, determined by real-time trades in physical bullion and more closely followed than futures by some traders, was down $1.65, or 0.1%, on the day.
Gold’s most-active futures contract on New York’s Comex, , settled at $1946.20 ounce, up $13.30, or 0.7%, on the day. For the week, the benchmark gold futures contract rose $3.50, or 0.2%.
The , which traded as high as $1,930.90 an ounce at one point Monday, hovered at $1,924.22 by 13:55 ET (17:55 GMT). That left spot gold, which is determined by real-time trades in physical bullion, up 0.4% on the week.
“Gold traders are stuck in a wait-and-see mode as Central Bank-a-Palooza will deliver a make-or-break moment for bullion,” Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA said, referring to rate decisions due from the Fed, Bank of England, Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China.
“The is hovering right at the August highs, potentially poised to set new cycle highs. The focus for gold traders will start with the Fed, but then quickly shift to the BOE and BOJ policy decisions.”
“If optimism grows that most of the advanced world is done raising rates, that would be good news for gold. That might be hard given the Fed and BOE might refrain from signaling that they are done hiking just yet. If Wall Street begins to worry about hard landings, then gold, despite some dollar strength, might start attracting some safe-haven flows.”
Central bank rate decisions loom
Global markets are adjusting to a new outlook for rate hikes after the European Central Bank on Thursday raised rates to a record high of 4% even as it signaled that hike to be its last.
The Fed’s policy-makers aren’t expected to raise rates when they meet on Sept. 20, not after 11 hikes that added 5.25 percentage points to a base rate of just 0.25% in February 2022.
But what Chairman Jerome Powell says at his news conference on Wednesday will be closely watched for clues on Fed think for the rest of the year, especially with two more policy meetings on the schedule for November and December.
Still, with a Fed hike seemingly out of the way for now, dollar investors sat on the sidelines while others took some more profit on the greenback’s rally of the past eight weeks.
U.S. rose a second month in a row in August, reaching a year-on-year growth of 3.7% from 3.2% in July, due to high pump prices of gasoline which accounted for more than half of the increase — a phenomenon that could put renewed pressure on inflation fighters at the Fed.
The central bank’s desired inflation remains at a max 2% per year and it has vowed to get there with more rate hikes if necessary.