Gold eases lower ahead of Fed meeting

Frankfurt (Jan 28)  Almost unnoticed in the chaos in Europe and the oil markets, the latest Federal Reserve meeting has come around again and with it gold shed the gains seen yesterday.

Traders expect a holding statement from the Fed, especially with markets still unnerved by the actions of the ECB and Swiss National Bank in the last fortnight.

While the ECB’s introduction of a €1trn plus bond-buying programme was widely flagged, the SNB ending its peg to the euro caught many on the hop.

As a result gold has regained some of its safe haven appeal and has risen by almost 10% this year so far.

Any indication tonight by Fed chair Janet Yellen in her press conference that US interest rates may go up earlier than expected could soon change that, but if anything the pendulum has been swinging the other way.

Many economists are now looking for a hint that any rise may be delayed because of the global uncertainty.

The key meeting, though, will likely be in March as that will be the best time to flag up a rise in US interest rates at the half year point.

Spot gold was down around US$6 shortly after Wall Street opened. Silver was just below the US$18 mark, while platinum shed US$7 to US$1,254.