Spot gold held steady after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting showed most officials agreed they could start reducing the pace of bond-buying this year due to progress on inflation and unemployment goals.
“Various participants commented that economic and financial conditions would likely warrant a reduction in coming months,” said minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 27-28 gathering released on Wednesday. “Several others indicated, however, that a reduction in the pace of asset purchases was more likely to become appropriate early next year.”
The minutes also showed that most participants “judged that it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year.”
Substantial progress in the jobs market will be key to the central bank’s eventual reduction of stimulus, Chairman Jerome Powell has said. How long inflation will persist has been central to discussions around the Federal Reserve’s timetable for tightening stimulus, a key driver for the gold market. The taper timetable in the minutes is well within the consensus of Wall Street economists.
Bullion has been under pressure this year amid successful vaccine rollouts, stronger-than-expected recoveries in some economies and the possibility of rising interest rates.
“Most participants judged that the Committee’s standard of ‘substantial further progress’ toward the maximum-employment goal had not yet been met,” the minutes said. “At the same time, most participants remarked that this standard had been achieved with respect to the price stability goal.”
The record shows officials don’t have agreement on timing or pace yet, but most reached consensus on keeping the composition of any reduction in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities purchases proportional.
Bullion for immediate delivery was up less than 0.1% at $1,787.53 an ounce as of 3:25 p.m. in New York.
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