Will investors focus on commodities in the advent of tomorrow's FOMC Minutes?


Just over a day remains before the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in the United States is set to release the minutes from its policy meeting, which was held at the end of January.

Ordinarily, announcements such as this are considered to be very important events in the global economic calendar, especially given that monetary policy, which the FOMC is responsible for administering, has been a very significant feature during these prolonged times of high-interest rates and stringent rulings by central banks across Western markets which have continued despite the high levels of inflation which ran into double figures being long since a thing of the past.

Perhaps the forthcoming publication of the minutes from the FOMC meeting, which took place on the final days of January, will not reveal any particular new matters of interest, largely because it is already widely understood that the US authorities will not be reducing interest rates in the foreseeable future, contrary to the understanding of many analysts and investors at the beginning of this year.

Given that Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell underscored the decision in a message at the beginning of February by saying that the Federal Reserve will not cut rates until it is certain that inflation is nearing the 2% target, it appears that any such minutes from a more recent meeting are not likely to affect the market that much.

In times during which the market expects a favourable approach by central bankers which will accelerate the economy, such as rate cuts which were anticipated for March and June this year, which do not materialise, it is often the case that attention turns to commodities.

Over the past few days, spot gold has been increasing in value.

On February 13, spot gold was at its lowest value this year, trading at $1,990.69 per troy ounce at the bottom end of the candlestick, according to FXOpen pricing. This low point reversed, and spot gold has made a remarkable return over the past week, entering the market this morning across European time zones at just over $2,021 per troy ounce.

Indicative pricing only

When considering that gold is regarded as a de facto store of value during periods of economic change or policy uncertainty, the precious metal is now at a crossroads. The rally over the past week runs up to the perhaps predictable relaying of minutes from the aforementioned FOMC meeting, however, despite the FOMC having stuck firmly to its plan of not reducing rates despite huge speculation that it would reduce rates, market speculation has begun once again with confidence beginning to be demonstrated that the Federal Reserve may cut rates in June.

This is pure speculation from across the market, however, and absolutely no indication by the central bank to this effect has been given. Therefore, bets on a rate cut that could take place in June rather than the previous speculations of March tend to support the US dollar at the expense of the non-yielding gold price.

Whilst the market makes such predictions, the authorities remain tight-lipped, and gold continues to be strong in value, perhaps as a consequence of this juxtaposition.

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This article represents the opinion of the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand only. It is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation with respect to products and services provided by the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand, nor is it to be considered financial advice.

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