Gold rises after Fed announcement

Gold bar with reflected coins (Photo: Bullion Vault, Flickr).

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee released today the minutes from its September meeting and, ultimately, decided not to hike interest rates.

Although last month’s discussion between members was divisive, seven of them agreed to hold interest rates between 0.25% and 0.5%. They say the economy is still growing slowly and, since unemployment is at 5% and inflation remains below their 2% target, there is no sign of rising wage pressure.

“Among the participants who supported awaiting further evidence of continued progress toward the Committee’s objectives, several stated that the decision at this meeting was a close call. Some participants believed that it would be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate relatively soon if the labor market continued to improve and economic activity strengthened, while some others preferred to wait for more convincing evidence that inflation was moving toward the Committee’s 2 percent objective,” the documents read.

Dissenting members worry that if the Fed waits too long, it could be forced into having to raise rates aggressively to slow the economy.

But since the minutes say the hike could happen “relatively soon,” gold prices started to climb Wednesday afternoon. Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,255.42 an ounce by 2:51 p.m. EDT, hovering above last week’s four-month low at $1,241.20.

U.S. gold futures settled down 0.2 percent at $1,253.80 in regular trading, prior to the release of the minutes.

“U.S. Treasury yields are marginally lower which has helped encourage a few value buyers in gold near day’s lows,” Tai Wong, director of base and precious metals trading for BMO Capital Markets in New York told Reuters.

Silver settled down 0.02% at $17.505 a troy ounce.

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