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Gold Soars on Weaker US Dollar, Dovish Federal Reserve

March 16, 2017 at 16:58 by Andrew Moran

The Federal Reserve pulled the trigger on the third rate hike in a decade on Wednesday, but that did not stop gold prices from surging. The yellow metal climbed on Thursday as investors started to comb through the US central bank’s remarks and take a look at the market’s response to an increase of 25 basis points to interest rates. The precious metal is also benefiting from a weaker US dollar.

April gold futures soared $28.60, or 2.38%, to $1,229.30 per ounce at 16:31 GMT on Thursday. Gold futures are now poised to settle at a two-week high and will post its biggest one-day percentage gain since June 2016.

Silver is also joining in the rally. May silver futures rose $0.43, or 2.55%, to $17.35 an ounce. Silver is set to record its largest one-day percentage gain in two months.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced on Wednesday that rates would go up for the second time in three months. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) overwhelmingly voted in favor of raising its target rate by 25 basis points to a range of between 0.75% and 1%. Yellen also stuck to the central bank’s forecast of two more rate hikes sometime this year. The market was disappointed by the Fed not hinting at any initiatives to quicken the pace of monetary tightening. This move was considered to be a “dovish” or “neutral” rate hike.

Gold is sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends traders into yield-bearing assets.

Despite a confident Fed, the US dollar was not able to muster up any gains. The US dollar index tumbled to a one-month low as it shed 0.35% at midday trading. A strengthening greenback makes commodities like gold and silver more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Precious metals were unaffected by the results of the Dutch vote on Wednesday. Although The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte was able to fend off a significant populist uprising, Geert Wilders‘s Party for Freedom now controls the second-most seats in the Parliament with 20.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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