Gold Traders Stop for Breath With Focus on September Fed Meeting

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The gold market is pausing for breath.

After a plunge over the past two weeks that took prices to a five-year low, the metal traded mostly little changed on Wednesday. Not even a new policy statement from the Federal Reserve was enough to shake more life into bullion, as the central bank failed to provide a clear signal on when U.S. interest rates will increase.

The precious metal is still heading for its biggest monthly decline in two years in anticipation that the Fed will raise rates this year, which curbs the appeal of gold because it doesn’t pay interest. Policy makers said the labor market and housing have improved at the conclusion of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Officials next gather in September.

“The Fed’s statement was pretty much right where it was expected, so at the end of the day, there really hasn’t been a change,” Mike Meyer, a vice president at EverBank Wealth Management in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview.

Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,097.10 an ounce at 4:20 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

The central bank’s benchmark rate has been near zero percent, a record low, since 2008.

On the Comex, gold futures for December delivery slid 0.3 percent to close at $1,093.30 an ounce in New York.

Futures fell 6.7 percent in July, putting the metal on track for the biggest monthly retreat since 2013 amid concern that demand is slowing from China, which vies with India as the top consumer. Prices will drop to $984 before January, according to the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 16 analysts and traders.

Speculators are shorting the commodity for the first time since U.S. government data begins in 2006, and holders of exchange-traded products backed by the metal are selling at the fastest pace since 2013.

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