Gold firm ahead of US Fed rate decision

Gold held steady on Wednesday after hitting a one-week high in the previous session, as traders waited to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep its interest rates unchanged amid uncertainty over the policies of President Donald Trump.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,210.79 an ounce by 0320 GMT. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.1 percent to $1,209.40.

Spot gold gained more than 5 percent in January – its best month since June 2016 – as investors sought safe ground.

“The uncertainty the Trump government brings has worried the markets. What Trump does is beyond our expectations and people are kind of playing it safe by holding gold positions and waiting to see what happens in other markets,” said Yuichi Ikemizu.

Ikemizu is a head of commodity trading at Standard Bank in Tokyo.

Dollar prices suffered its worst January in three decades after Trump complained that every other country lives on devaluation.

The comments intensified expectations that the new U.S. administration was making moves to talk down the greenback just hours after Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro.

Navarro told the Financial Times that Germany is using a grossly undervalued euro to gain advantage over the United States and its own European Union partners.

The Fed is expected to keep U.S. interest rates unchanged on Wednesday in its first policy decision since Trump took office, as the central bank awaits greater clarity on his economic policies.

“Fed officials might emphasize that they want to raise rates in the future, but there is not going to be any surprises,” Ikemizu said.

Spot gold is expected to retrace to a support at $1,197 per ounce, as it has more or less completed a bounce from the January 27 low of $1,180.65, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

“We think that the bumpy start to Donald Trump’s presidency will likely continue for a little while longer, lending an uneasy tone to the markets, but one which will provide fertile upside ground for gold,” INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir added.

The bullish view is underscored by some of Wall Street’s largest fund managers betting on gold, wagering that Trump’s governing style, and upcoming elections in Europe will combine to create more stock market volatility and boost demand for the metal seen as a safe haven.

Spot silver slipped 0.1 percent to $17.50 an ounce, after touching its highest in more than 11 weeks at $17.61.

Platinum was firm at $994.40. Palladium edged up 0.2 percent to $754.

Source: Reuters