Gold futures settled on Tuesday at their lowest level since early November, as investors awaited the outcome of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting for cues on the metal’s next direction.
The FOMC meeting concludes Wednesday with a policy statement and news conference.
Gold for April delivery GCK5, -0.55% declined by $5, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,148.20 an ounce on Comex after settling higher for a third straight session on Monday. That was the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since Nov. 6.
Silver for the same month SIK5, -0.46% shed 3.9 cents, or 0.3%, to $15.578 an ounce.
The metals market is likely to get its next real directional cue from the FOMC meeting, with market participants looking for a signal the central bank is getting ready to hike interest rates and drop the “patient” reference in its statement.
“The best possible short-term outcome for the gold markets would be no change in the language after the FOMC meeting,” said Richard Gotterer, managing director and senior financial adviser at Wescott Financial Advisory Group. “If that were to happen, I’d expect to see a slight pop in gold. But that’s not looking likely.”
“Since the last Fed meeting, speeches from Fed officials have been geared towards getting the markets comfortable with the idea that sooner rather than later, they are going to hike rates,” Gotterer said.