Gold price (XAU/USD) continues to attract bids ahead of the Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate decision, which will be announced on Wednesday. The yellow metal extended its three-day winning spell on Tuesday as the Fed is expected to maintain the status quo on the grounds of falling inflation and an upbeat economic outlook.
Investors remain curious about the guidance on interest rates as a hawkish outlook would trigger a risk-aversion theme. Markets are pricing in that the Fed is done with hiking rates until year-end, and hopes for the US economy shifting on a “golden path” are high. The only factor that could keep expectations of one more interest rate increase is rising energy prices, which may contribute to inflation and further squeeze households’ real incomes.
Gold price resumes its three-day winning spell as the Fed is expected to keep the monetary policy unchanged on Wednesday. The precious metal is at a two-week high at around $1,935.00 after discovering buying interest near the 200-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA), which trades at around $1,910.00. The yellow metal has climbed above the 20-day and 50-day EMAs, which indicates that the short-term trend has turned bullish.
Interest rates are charged by financial institutions on loans to borrowers and are paid as interest to savers and depositors. They are influenced by base lending rates, which are set by central banks in response to changes in the economy. Central banks normally have a mandate to ensure price stability, which in most cases means targeting a core inflation rate of around 2%.
If inflation falls below target the central bank may cut base lending rates, with a view to stimulating lending and boosting the economy. If inflation rises substantially above 2% it normally results in the central bank raising base lending rates in an attempt to lower inflation.
Higher interest rates generally help strengthen a country’s currency as they make it a more attractive place for global investors to park their money.
Higher interest rates overall weigh on the price of Gold because they increase the opportunity cost of holding Gold instead of investing in an interest-bearing asset or placing cash in the bank.
If interest rates are high that usually pushes up the price of the US Dollar (USD), and since Gold is priced in Dollars, this has the effect of lowering the price of Gold.
The Fed funds rate is the overnight rate at which US banks lend to each other. It is the oft-quoted headline rate set by the Federal Reserve at its FOMC meetings. It is set as a range, for example 4.75%-5.00%, though the upper limit (in that case 5.00%) is the quoted figure.
Market expectations for future Fed funds rate are tracked by the CME FedWatch tool, which shapes how many financial markets behave in anticipation of future Federal Reserve monetary policy decisions.