Gold edges up as U.S. dollar retreats ahead of Fed meeting

Gold edges up as U.S. dollar retreats ahead of Fed meeting”

Federal Reserve policymakers end their two-day meeting to review interest rates.

Bill Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY has suggested that the Fed's balance sheet will be reduced by $1.0 to $2.0 billion during this exercise, which is tentatively expected to end in early 2020.

The Fed's decision won't be released until Thursday morning local time and the central bank is not expected to alter interest rate levels, but investors are on watch for news as to how its crisis-swollen, $4.5 trillion balance sheet will be unwound.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,315.36 an ounce by 0658 GMT. Recent hurricane activity is expected to cloud the outlook for the Fed - intensifying the problem is the delay in the collection and publication of official data.

The dollar stood little changed at 111.455 yen after climbing to 111.665 overnight, its highest since July 27. South Korean shares .KS11 dipped 0.1 percent, against a backdrop of caution ahead of the Fed meeting as well as continuing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The energy group added 0.9 percent, boosted by a 3.4 percent gain for oil and natural gas producer Encana Corp (ECA.TO) to C$13.14.

At 9.30am the JSE all share was off 0.22% to 55,927.6 points and the top 40 had also lost 0.22%.

United States crude oil prices slipped below US$50 per barrel but stayed close to multi-month highs as refineries in Texas continued to restart after Hurricane Harvey.

"We expect the MPC to follow through and deliver a 25-basis-point rate hike in November this year", Capital Economics economist Oliver Jones said in a note.

US crude oil prices slipped below $50 per barrel but stayed close to multi-month highs as refineries in Texas continued to restart after Hurricane Harvey. Friday's Baker Hughes report revealed that U.S energy firms cut seven oilrigs in the week to September 15, bringing the total to 749, the fewest since June.

The metal has fallen 4% since hitting a more than one-year high of US$1,357.54 earlier this month, as the USA dollar recovered from lows and as fading concerns over North Korea's nuclear ambitions cut demand for bullion as a haven from risk. It's not a slam-dunk, as persistently subdued global inflation, despite a pick-up in growth, remains somewhat of an impediment to tightening monetary policy. Yields on 10-year Japanese bonds remain near zero, while those on German bunds are the least attractive versus Treasuries in nearly a year.

The Fed's counterparts in Frankfurt and Tokyo will be among those watching the process most closely, given the potential ripple effects on their markets and economies, and the lessons to be learned from the USA experiment. The Trump administration also must fill open board seats.

On Friday, the dollar rallied against the yen during European trade as traders quickly wiped off the latest missile fired over Japan by N. Korea, following an initial decline in risk appetite widely across currency markets. In June, the Fed was forced to lower its 2017 inflation projections to just 1.7 percent.

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