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Interest Rates, Fed Policy, and the Price of Gold

Traders and investors around the world are placing bets on whether or not the U.S. Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, will soon raise short-term interest rates given the continuing ambiguity in U.S. and global economic indicators and continuing volatility in world financial markets. Some days there seems to be a consensus in the marketplace expecting the Fed will stand pat, leaving short-term interest rates unchanged for a while longer. Other days the consensus seems to expect the Fed will sooner or later nudge rates up a tad, possibly voting to do so as early as next week’s FOMC ...

Gold: On the Verge . . . or Nearing a Cliff

Gold has had difficulty sustaining recent rallies and remains trapped in a $50 trading range.  At the lower end, incremental physical demand has so far kept the price above its recent floor around $1175 an ounce . . . but selling by funds and other institutional traders of gold ETFs and “paper” proxies has limited attempts to rally. Whatever improvement in sentiment and upward momentum that may have resulted from this year’s encouraging first-quarter start has now dissipated.  The longer gold lingers in its current range the more difficult it will be for the yellow metal to break out on the ...

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