Gold Little Changed as Traders Await Fed Decision on U.S. Rates

Gold Tries to Snap a Three Day Losing Streak
  • Traders looking for clues on timing of rate increase
  • Futures data show Fed will hold rates at this week's meeting

Gold traders are waiting on the sidelines ahead of a meeting of U.S. policy makers that could give clues on when interest rates will rise.

Futures closed little change in New York, and aggregate trading was 35 percent below the 100-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On Monday, about 93,000 contracts changed hands, the lowest in three weeks. Federal Reserve officials start a two-day meeting on Tuesday. 

Investors have been building up positions for a rally amid speculation that the Fed will refrain from raising rates this year. Higher borrowing costs curb the appeal of gold because it doesn’t give returns like bonds or equities. Former Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a CNN interview aired Sunday that policy makers will need to weigh the weakness in China and other emerging markets against the strength of the U.S. economy.

“People are not committed to adding positions until the Fed announcement,” Bob Haberkorn, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago said in a telephone interview. “There’s a risk-off mentality right now. People are waiting to see what happens tomorrow.”

Gold futures for December delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1,165.80 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Futures have gained 4.5 percent this month.

China’s central bank cut rates last week to boost growth, while European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled that he may add stimulus measures. 

Traders put the probability that the Fed will raise rates at its meeting this week at 4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The odds of increasing borrowing costs in December are 33 percent, the data show.

Silver futures fell on the Comex, while platinum and palladium declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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