Gold, Copper Prices Rangebound Ahead of Fed Meeting

By Ambar Warrick Gold and copper kept to a tight range on Wednesday as anticipation of a large interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve boosted the dollar and weighed on metal markets.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates by at least 75 basis points bps when it concludes a two-day meeting later on Wednesday, with traders also pricing in the possibility of a 100 bps raise after hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data last week.

The hike, which will be the Fed’s fifth raise this year, is broadly expected to draw capital away from metal markets and into the dollar - a trend that has dragged bullion prices well below peaks hit during the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This has also seen gold lose its safe haven sheen, with the yellow metal falling in tandem with conventional risk-driven markets this year. Stock markets also weakened on Tuesday in anticipation of the Fed.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,666.04 an ounce, while gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,674.0 an ounce by 19:34 ET (23:34 GMT). Both instruments fell 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively, on Tuesday, and are down about 2% each over the past four sessions.

Gold slipped below the key $1,700 mark earlier this week, and is expected to see few cues for a recovery. Markets will be watching for any commentary on inflation and interest rate expectations from the Fed.

Other precious metals also recovered from recent losses, but stayed pinned near recent lows. Silver futures rose 0.5%, while platinum traded flat.

Among industrial metals, copper prices rose 0.1% to $3.50 a pound, retaining most of their losses in the past four sessions.

But the red metal has performed slightly better than gold in the past month, on expectations of tightening supply due to a strike in Chile’s Escondida, the largest copper mine in the world.

Still, copper markets have to contend with slowing industrial activity across the globe, which has weighed heavily on demand this year.

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