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Gold Stays Above $1,300 amid Market Uncertainty over 2018 Rate Hikes

October 16, 2017 at 16:54 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading above the crucial $1,300 threshold on the first day of the new trading week. Gold prices are in the green as investors are uncertain over the pace of increases to interest rates in 2018, causing the market to park some of their holdings in the yellow metal.

December gold futures jumped $1.10, or 0.08%, to $1,305.50 per ounce at 16:34 GMT on Monday. This comes as the precious metal recorded its first weekly gain in four weeks last week.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is trading flat to kick off the trading week. November silver futures rose $0.01, or 0.08%, to $17.41 an ounce. Last week, the white metal also reported its sixth weekly gain in the last seven weeks.

The market widely anticipates the Federal Reserve to pull the trigger on a rate hike at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in December. As the US central bank starts to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, investors are unsure about the pace of the next series of rate hikes in 2018.

Speaking to the Group of 30 banking seminar in Washington on Sunday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stated that the “ongoing strength of the economy will warrant gradual increases” in short-term interest rates. Some analysts are forecasting a minimum of three rate hikes next year, but the Fed has not hinted at such a direction.

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, there is a 36% chance of a rate hike in March, up from 5% in January.

Meanwhile, the US dollar is trading relatively flat as the greenback dipped 0.01%. A weaker US dollar is good for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to buy.

Other metals experienced important milestones on Monday. December copper futures surged 3.7% to a three-year high of $3.249 per pound. January palladium futures touched $1,000 before retreating to $992 an ounce.

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