Gold prices are higher in early U.S. trading, on bargain hunting and short covering ahead of the conclusion of an important Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday afternoon. There is also a bit of safe-haven demand for gold following a fiery speech by U.S. President Trump at the U.N. on Tuesday. December Comex gold was last up $7.50 an ounce at $1,318.10. December Comex silver prices were last up $0.111 at $17.39 an ounce.
World markets have paused ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that began Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement. No interest rate changes are expected from the FOMC at this meeting. However, it is expected the Fed will announce it is drawing down its big balance sheet of securities. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference after the FOMC meeting ends. Also, the Federal Reserve will release new economic projections. The inflation projections will be examined very closely.
The key outside markets on Wednesday morning see the U.S. dollar index slightly weaker. The greenback bears remain in firm technical control. Meantime, Nymex crude oil futures are higher this morning. The oil bulls have the slight near-term technical advantage as prices hover around $50 a barrel.
Other U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey, existing home sales and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.