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How the Federal Reserve Could Impact Precious Metals in December

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The Fed’s stance

Much of the fluctuations in precious metals in the few months leading up to Donald Trump’s US presidential victory were dependent on the route that the US Treasury rates would take. 

The possibility of an imminent interest rate rise negatively impacts precious metals, as they’re non-yield-bearing assets. The higher the rate offered on Treasuries, the higher the chance of a fall in gold’s haven appeal.

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The Federal Reserve’s meeting stance will be a major determinant of the direction gold and other precious metals could take. Speculation has mounted that Fed chair Janet Yellen could resign before the end of her term in January 2018. Trump accused the US central bank of keeping rates low to favor incumbent President Barack Obama. He also indicated that he could replace Yellen as chair of Federal Reserve.

In the graph above, we can see the performance of gold compared to US 10-Year and 2-Year Treasury interest rates.

Mining funds and shares followed

Mining funds such as the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) and the Sprott Gold Miners ETF (SGDM) have followed the same route as precious metals over the past few months, taking cues from the Fed’s stance. Major mining companies Eldorado Gold (EGO), Coeur Mining (CDE), First Majestic Silver (AG), and Agnico Gold Mines (AEM) have also followed precious metals’ ups and downs.

Investors are currently pricing in a nearly 91% chance of an interest rate hike in the Fed’s December policy-setting meeting. Such a rise could give wings to the US dollar and shun the demand for precious metals.

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