On Wednesday, the minutes of the latest U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting were released. They revealed that the central bank intends to revise their 6.5% unemployment threshold that would trigger the first interest rate hike. Fed officials also discussed how they may keep rates low even after an initial hike, which would be a good thing for gold investors.
Spot gold did finish lower on Wednesday after gaining on Tuesday, but climbed a bit after the minutes were released. It also continued to climb in early trading on Thursday, reaching as high as $1,324.40 an ounce.
Before the minutes were released, Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, told Market Watch, “The $1,300 mark for gold is under serious threat…as the stock market has picked up its lost steam and traders have renewed their love for the equity market.”
Commerzbank’s Eugen Weinberg was also wary of gold’s recent gains, stating that “weak equity markets and the geopolitical tensions in Ukraine have given the gold price a boost, allowing it to trade back above $1,300 per ounce. Nonetheless, the latest price increase appears to have been driven to a large extent by speculative investors, whilst physical demand from China has been weak of late.”
These statements were made prior to the release of the Fed minutes, however, and the Fed’s uncertainty about how to proceed may help to negate some of this resistance.
For gold investors, the value of the dollar and the situation in Ukraine are the key things to monitor. If the Fed does not come up with a confident plan to improve the economy without devaluing the dollar, then investors could be driven to physical gold as a safe-haven. Also, if the situation in Ukraine escalates, especially if it leads to U.S. involvement, then gold could see a nice boost since historically investors have flocked to the yellow metal in times of world crisis.