Gold Unchanged as Jobless Claims Within Expectations

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Gold is trading sideways in the Thursday session. In North American trade, the spot price for one ounce of gold is $1223.17, up 0.02% on the day. On the release front, key indicators beat their estimates. The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index dropped to 22.2, above the estimate of 19.7 points. On the employment front, jobless claims dropped to 210 thousand, just below the estimate of 211 thousand.

The markets were treated to a hawkish message from the Federal Reserve minutes. The minutes indicated that a majority of members want to continue raising interest rates until the U.S economy shows signs of slowing down. However, the duration of a tighter policy remains unclear, as the minutes noted that “there is considerable uncertainty surrounding all estimates of the neutral federal funds rate.” This would likely be around the 3 percent level, which will not be reached until the second half of 2019, as the Fed has indicated it will raise rates three times next year. At the September meeting, the Fed removed the phrase “the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative”, which was considered outdated, given the policy of steady rate hikes. As rates approach the “neutral rate”, we could see further changes in language at upcoming policy meetings.
 
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