Wednesday, September 19, 2018

© Reuters.  Gold edges up in Asia© Reuters. Gold edges up in Asia – Gold prices edged up in Asia on Wednesday with the upcoming Fed meeting expected to hold steady and investors cautious ahead of nonfarm payroll data at the end of the week.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.01% to $1,270.65 a troy ounce. Copper futures on the Comex jumped 1.19% to $3.149 a pound.

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for October came in at 51.0 as and unchanged from September, according to data released on Wednesday. The release follows China’s official manufacturing PMI for October that came in at 51.6 — below expectations.

In Australia, the AIG Manufacturing index came in at 51.1, compared with a previous reading of 54.2. As well, the Japan’s manufacturing PMI rose to 62.8, compared with a reading of 52.5 seen.

Overnight, gold prices hovered above session lows pressured by a rising dollar on the back of a duo of bullish economic reports that lifted investor expectations of bullish U.S. economic growth.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge rose to 125.9 in October from 119.8 in September, beating economists’ forecast for a reading of 121.

Consumer sentiment is a leading indicator of consumer spending, which plays a major role in overall economic activity.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped to 66.2, above the September reading of 65.2. That topped expectations for a reading of 61.

The bullish reports come ahead of a busy few days on the economic calendar concerning monetary policy as the Federal Reserve is slated to announce its interest rate decision on Wednesday while President Donald Trump is expected to announce the next head of the Fed on Thursday.

President Donald Trump is leaning toward appointing Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell – who shares a similar stance to Janet Yellen on monetary policy – to be next chairman of the Fed, Reuters reported Monday, citing a source.

Gold prices are sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A higher dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency while an increase in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

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