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Gold Prices Flat Ahead of Key Federal Reserve Policy Meeting

December 11, 2017 at 17:21 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading relatively flat to start the trading week as investors prepare for Wednesday’s key Federal Reserve policy meeting. Any losses for the precious metal were capped by a lower US dollar.

February gold futures dipped $0.10, or 0.1%, to $1,248.30 per ounce at 16:07 GMT on Monday. Gold prices have not traded at these levels since the middle of July. This comes as the yellow metal reported a weekly loss of 2.7% last week, which is the worst weekly performance since May.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is bleeding red ink to kick off the trading week. March silver futures fell $0.02, or 0.18%, to $15.79 an ounce. The white metal also plummeted 3.5% last week.

On Wednesday, the US central bank will hold its final Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, where it is widely expected officials will raise interest rates for the third time in 2017. Gold is generally sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends traders into yield-bearing investment instruments.

Gold did benefit from a lower US dollar on Monday as the greenback tumbled 0.17%. A weaker US dollar is good for commodities like gold and silver because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to buy.

Gold is perhaps still feeling the effects of Friday’s better-than-expected jobs report that found the national economy created 228,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate stayed the same at 4.1%.

With the rise of bitcoin, gold has lost some of its luster. Analysts say that gold bugs are shedding some of their holdings in the precious metal and allocating more of their resources into the peer-to-peer decentralized currency. Cameron Winklevoss, half of the Billionaire Bitcoin twins, argues that the cryptocurrency is a “gold disruptor,” but others aver that it is simply a bubble that will soon pop.

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