Gold has posted small gains in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, the spot price for one ounce of gold is $1297.73, up 0.13% on the day. On the release front, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates to a range between 1.75% and 2.00%. On the inflation front, there was positive news. The Producer Price Index jumped to 0.5%, well above the estimate of 0.1%. This marked the highest gain since April 2017. Core PPI edged up to 0.3%, above the forecast of 0.2% percent. On Thursday, the U.S releases retail sales reports and unemployment claims.
All eyes are on the Federal Reserve, which winds up its 2-day policy meeting on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates to a range between 1.75% and 2.0%. The odds of a quarter-point move stand at 96% percent, according to the CME Group. Although a rate hike has been priced in by the markets, such a significant move could boost the U.S dollar against its rivals. Investors will be paying close attention to the language of the rate statement as well as the “dot-plot” forecasts, looking for any clues regarding rate hikes in the second half of 2018. The Fed is currently projecting a total of three hikes this year, but a strong economy and rising inflation have raised speculation that the Fed could raise rates four times in 2018.
The Trump-Kim summit continues to dominate the headlines, but it appears to be a case of symbolism over substance. The joint statement put out by Presidents Trump and Kim was short on details, which could explain a lack of movement in gold prices this week. The joint statement reaffirmed North Korea’s full commitment to complete denuclearization, but there was no mention of a timetable or any verification mechanisms. Even if the summit was largely symbolic, there’s no denying that tensions have significantly eased and that the summit could mark a first step in bringing peace to the Korean peninsula. If investors sense that progress is being made over the longstanding conflict in Korea, risk appetite could climb and send gold prices downwards.