Gold futures were in the red Wednesday, trading below $1,200 an ounce and set for their 11th loss in the past 12 sessions, ahead of a widely expected Federal Reserve interest-rate hike later in the day.
Gold for April delivery GCJ7, -0.29% fell $3.10, or 0.3%, to $1,199.50 an ounce. Gold futures had dug in just above the $1,200 mark in recent sessions, even as prices returned to late-January lows, and watching that line will remain a key trading driver.
The metal’s nine-session slide that ended Friday had marked the longest streak of declines since July 2015, FactSet data showed.
Prospects for higher rates have generally been dollar-positive and gold-negative as a richer buck makes gold less attractive to investors using another currency.
May silver SIK7, -0.37% slipped 2.3 cents, or 0.1%, to $16.90 an ounce.
The Fed is widely expected to raise the range of its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter-point on Wednesday, which marks the end of its two-day policy meeting. The central bank will release its statement and new economic forecasts at 2 p.m. Eastern—after the gold futures settlement—followed by a news conference by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
Because markets have long priced in their expectations for this Fed move, “the increase itself may have limited market-moving potential, putting the spotlight on a revised set of economic and rate path projections as well as a press conference with Chair Yellen,” said Ilya Spivak, currency and commodities analyst with Daily FX.
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Gold was little moved by a series of economic releases out Wednesday morning, which did little to alter expectations for the Fed meeting. The data revealed a still-strong reading in a New York-area business gauge, plus a small rise in a consumer-inflation reading and negligible February improvement in retail sales which were held back by delayed tax refunds.
Other metals saw mixed trading, with May copper HGK7, +0.78% up 3 cents, or 1.1%, at $2.665 a pound, April platinum PLJ7, -0.18% down $2.80, or 0.3%, at $936.10 an ounce and June palladium PAM7, +0.26% tacking on $2.25, or 0.3%, to $743.95 an ounce.
Among exchanged-traded funds, the SPDR Gold Trust GLD, +0.10% traded nearly unchanged, while the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX, +1.83% added 0.2%. The iShares Silver Trust SLV, -0.15% fell 0.3%.