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Gold Edges Up on Fed, US-China Uncertainty

October 8, 2019 at 15:08 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are rebounding on Tuesday as uncertainty drives the yellow metal’s trade. With the US and China scheduled to renew principal-level trade talks this week and the Federal Reserve set to release its September minutes, markets are scratching their heads and shrugging their shoulders because they do not know what to expect. Producer prices were also in the spotlight because they might give the central bank the ammunition it needs to cut interest rates for the third time in 2019.

December gold futures rose $7.20, or 0.48%, to $1,511.60 per ounce at 15:00 GMT on Tuesday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Year-to-date, the yellow metal has advanced 18%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also gaining momentum as December silver futures climbed $0.25, or 1.43%, to $17.79 an ounce. The white metal has followed in gold’s footsteps, jumping 14% so far on the year.

Investors are doubtful that a comprehensive trade agreement could be reached between the world’s two largest economies, primarily because of recent developments. Reports suggest that Chinese officials want to remove certain issues from discussions, including state subsidies and industrial policy. The news came as the US government increased its list of blacklisted Chinese companies to 28 and

Vice Premier Liu He will meet with Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ahead of a scheduled hike in tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. On October 15, the import levies will jump from 25% to 30%.

Should US-China talks breakdown, then this would be bullish for a safe-haven asset like gold.

Markets are waiting for the Fed to release the minutes from its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) September meeting. Investors will be combing through the minutes to search for clues on the Eccles Building possibly cutting rates during this month’s policy meeting. The CME Group FedWatch tool is expecting a rate cut this month.

The odds of another mid-cycle adjustment increased after the latest reading of US producer prices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wholesale slumped 0.3% in September, the steepest decline since January. The market had penciled in a 0.1% gain. The drop in the producer price index (PPI) was driven mostly by lower gasoline prices. Because it signals lower inflation ahead, it might give the central bank what it needs to cut rates.

In other metal markets, December copper futures dipped $0.005, or 0.2%, to $2.57 per pound. December platinum futures tacked on $4.40, or 0.5%, to $892.70 per ounce. December palladium futures plunged $21.90, or 1.33%, to $1,624.40 an ounce.

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