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Gold Prices Dip to Two-Week Low with Fed in Focus

Gold bullion with money on table close up

Gold prices fell to a two-week low on Monday, as investors shifted their focus to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting later this week. The dollar, meanwhile, regained some ground after disappointing data released Friday.

Manufacturing and industrial production in the U.S. fell unexpectedly in August. Retail sales, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, also fell 0.2% in an unexpected move.

The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its next policy meeting, but investors will be looking for clues as to when it will unwind its balance sheet.

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce a plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet of QE bond purchases. Rates are expected to stay the same, but CME’s FedWatch tool is projecting a 53% chance of a rate hike in December.

Gold futures were down nearly $9, trading at $1,316.23 per troy ounce Monday morning. The dollar was holding steady at 91.67.

The yellow metal is sensitive to moves in the dollar. A stronger greenback makes gold and gold IRAs more expensive for holders of foreign currency.

Treasury yields, meanwhile, were sharply higher, pushing the dollar up.

Demand for safe-haven gold has weakened as geopolitical tensions eased. Investors shrugged off tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and turned to riskier assets.

An uptick on the dollar weighed down commodities as a whole. Silver futures were down 2.93% to trade at $17.18 per troy ounce. Platinum was down 1.03% to $961.75.

Copper was trading up 0.64%, at $2.97.

Oil was unaffected by the dollar’s gains, settling higher on Monday. Investors shrugged off expectations that stockpiles in the U.S. were set to grow for the third week in a row.

The market is anticipating a spike in crude supplies, as U.S. producers increase production at newly re-opened ports to make up for lost production after Hurricane Harvey.

U.S. crude futures for October gained two cents to settle at $49.91 per barrel. Brent oil lost three cents to trade at $55.59 per barrel.

The increase in crude supplies comes amid a shift in sentiment on oil prices. Bullish reports from the International Energy Agency and OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) have driven the change.

Demand for oil is expected to rise this year, and OPEC will likely extend its talks to extend its production cut beyond March 2018. OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed in May to extend the production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day until March 2018.