Gold Price Firms Ahead Of FOMC Statement, Powell Presser

March 21, 2018

New York (Mar 21)  Gold prices are modestly higher in early U.S. trading Wednesday, on some short covering by the shorter-term futures traders. A weaker U.S. dollar index today is also aiding the precious metals market bulls. Many markets are quieter ahead of today’s U.S. interest rate decision. April Comex gold futures were last up $3.20 an ounce at $1,315.10. May Comex silver was last up $0.04 at $16.225 an ounce.

The major economic data point of the week will be this afternoon’s statement at the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting (FOMC) that began Tuesday morning. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will also hold his first press conference this afternoon. Most expect the Fed to slightly raise U.S. interest rates today.

The Bank of England holds its monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

World stock markets were mixed to mostly lower in quieter trading overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins.

A major snowstorm on the East Coast of the U.S. has closed the federal government offices in Washington, D.C. However, economic data will be released via the government agency websites.

The key “outside markets” on Wednesday morning see the U.S. dollar index lower. Trading in the USDX remains choppy and sideways. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are also higher and hit a four-week high overnight. Oil prices are in a near-term uptrend on the daily chart.

U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey, the international transactions and current account report, existing home sales, and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report. 

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, April gold bears have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a five-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at last week’s high of $1,330.50. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,300.00. First resistance is seen at $1,320.00 and then at $1,325.00.


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