Los Angeles CA, March 13 (Tangible Investments) - by James O'Dell - Gold and Silver prices edged lower in early trading on Monday, with Gold down 0.09 percent to $1,203.40 an ounce after gaining $3.70 or 0.31 percent on Friday to finish the week at $1,204.50 an ounce.
Silver is down 0.35 percent to $16.96 an ounce after adding $0.08 or 0.47 percent on Friday to end the week at $17.02 an ounce, while the Gold/Silver ratio inched lower to 70.77. Platinum is down 0.11 percent to $940.00 an ounce while Palladium is up 0.80 percent to $752.00.
Gold is consolidating above the $1200 an ounce level in early trading on Monday while focus shifts to the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting and its policy decision on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to boost interest rates by 25 bps at its March 14-15 meeting.
“Friday’s strong NFP number should allow the FOMC to hike rates on Wednesday by 25bp (basis points), although markets are more likely to focus on signals from the committee on future hikes and balance sheet developments,” said BNP Paribas.
"A Fed hike on Wednesday is fully discounted by the market...the only thing that might prompt a surge in the dollar and rates is if the FOMC members lift the number of rate hikes they expect this year," said ICBC Standard Bank in a note.
Meanwhile, there remains a great deal of uncertainty in Europe over Wednesday’s Dutch parliamentary elections, which is bolstering Gold. The risk is that a far-right party could come to power in the Netherlands and renew concerns about ultra-conservatives winning French presidential elections this spring and leaving the European Union.
“Participants will be looking for Gold to hold $1,200 this week, with European elections still creating geopolitical risks that should underpin the metal now that uncertainty around the FOMC meeting has largely dissipated,” said MKS.
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