Gold briefly dipped to a four-week low of $1,307.99 in European trading overnight, recovering slightly to trade in the $1.315 range in New York. All precious metals are consolidating lower after a huge single trade in the pre-dawn hours Thursday morning slammed gold prices so hard that trading was halted for 20 seconds and led to downward momentum for the rest of the day.
As threats of a showdown over Syria recede, markets are tiptoeing around, and waiting on Wednesday afternoon, when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will settle the “will they or won’t they” question of tapering stimulus measures. Another negative for gold was the report by Japan’s Nikkei news agency that President Obama will name Larry Summers as the new Fed Chairman next week. This gave the dollar an overnight boost and rapped precious metals, as Summers is widely considered to be more aggressive about reducing quantitative easing. The White House later denied the Nikkei report.
There were mo major movers in the economic reports released today. The Producer Price Index rose 0.3%, versus an expected 0.2% and retail sales rose 0.2%, against an expected 0.4%. The biggest news this morning was consumer confidence falling from 82.1 to 76.8. Analysts has expected it to remain nearly flat at 82. This gave Wall St. some indigestion, but stocks are recovering.
Next week, the anxiety will be ramped up, as the FOMC begins its September two-day meeting Tuesday. There are only two more meetings after this one this year, in October and December.