GOLD PRICES traded in a 0.5% range Monday morning, treading water around the lowest weekly close in five ahead of Thursday’s long-awaited US Fed decision on Dollar interest rates – now held at zero for almost 7 years.
Mixed data from China meantime saw Shanghai’s stockmarket drop 2.5% as Beijing’s long-awaited plan for reforming its huge state-owned enterprises – urging a focus on “socialist values”
over “profit” – today fell short of privatization, “disappointing” investors by defending “entrenched interests”
according to some analysts after the recent equity-market turmoil.
Leading securities brokerages Founder, GF, Haitong and Huatai were fined the equivalent of $28 million
by the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Friday, and had $10m of profits confiscated for not verifying client I.D. properly, with individual executives also fined and warned.
Two private investors were also punished for “manipulating” stock prices by using fake buy orders to boost prices.
“I’m not looking for any big effect,” says Nobel economist and Yale professor Robert Shiller in an interview with the Financial Times of the Fed rate hike, saying that “it has been talked about for so long, everyone knows that it’s coming.
For gold prices, says a trading note from Swiss refinery and finance group MKS, “This week’s FOMC meeting is likely to keep price action fairly limited.”
“Physical gold demand in the emerging markets is sluggish,” adds bullion market maker HSBC in a note.
“With mixed signals from inflation, the labor market and financial conditions,” says fellow London bullion bank Barclays, “there are heightened uncertainties about the Fed decision.
“We expect lower trading activities and a sideways market before the meeting.”
“My personal opinion,” says David Govett at brokers Marex Spectron in London, “is that the Fed will not raise rates and [so] Thursday night should see a rally in precious prices.
“However…if the Fed doesn’t raise this month, they will emphasise that the raise is not far off. [So] the rally will probably be short lived.”
“Uneventful trading ranges” are notable across several other markets, says US brokerage INTL FCStone, “largely on account of trading volume dwindling ahead of the critical Fed meeting later this week.
“However, intraday movements in both gold and silver have been substantial.”
Chinese gold prices edged down in Shanghai trade Monday, but closed the day at a greater premium to London quotes, offering importers a gross margin of $3.75 per ounce.
Australian shares meantime rose Monday, and the Aussie Dollar spiked, as prime minister Tony Abbott was replaced by ex-Cabinet colleague Malcolm Turnbull – now the country’s 6th leader in 8 years
– following a vote by Liberal Party politicians.
London’s stock market ticked lower with Eurozone shares, but the Pound initially rose – nearing last week’s 1-month highs against the US Dollar – despite Jeremy Corbyn, dubbed a “radical left-winger” by some newspapers, winning the opposition socialist Labour Party’s leadership contest.
That held gold priced in Sterling around £715 per ounce, the multi-year low hit both by the crash of 2013 and again on gold’s volatile spike downwards last November.