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There is a reasonable probability the Fed will conclude its rate hikes this month

Commentaries & Views

The CME's FedWatch tool is predicting that there is a 99.8% probability that the Federal Reserve will implement a ΒΌ% rate hike on July 26 when the next FOMC meeting concludes. It is also likely that this month's rate hike will conclude the series of hikes by the Federal Reserve that began in March 2022. The latest CPI (Consumer Price Index) and PPI (Producer Price Index) reports indicate that inflationary pressures are diminishing and getting closer to the Federal Reserve's target of 2%.

At its highest point, the CPI was at 9.1% and has now contracted to 3% in June. This combined with a decrease of 0.2% through June in the Producer Price Index (for all goods minus food and energy). A survey conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that consumer sentiment skyrocketed to 72.6% in July 13% above sentiment in June.

If the Fed is as they have long proclaimed "data dependent" then these recent reports demonstrate that the U.S. economy has contracted substantially bringing down the level of inflation.

The CME's probability indicator is forecasting an 87.9% probability that rates will be left where they are at the September FOMC meeting, a 71.8% probability in November, and a 64% probability in December.

An article penned by Avraham Shama an Opinion Contributor for THE HILL titled, "The Fed is raising interest rates again: it's a mistake that could spark a recession", warns that if the Fed wants the best serve the US economy it must stop raising rates to avoid a recession.

In his article, he addresses the fact that "the Fed and its Chairman Jerome Powell have been unable to recognize a heating or cooling economy in a timely fashion to take quarterly action to minimize the negative effects". He discusses a series of missteps beginning with monetary tightening by the Fed in 2019 prematurely which required a pivot to reverse that trend. He addressed the fact that the Federal Reserve waited too long before initiating the first rate hike in March 2022 when inflation was already above 8%.

Gold traded to its highest value this year during the first week of May when gold briefly touched $2083 and then corrected to a low of $1900 on June 20. Today gold futures basis the most active August contract is fractionally lower down $0.40 or 0.02% and fixed at $1980.40.

It is reasonable to assume that market sentiment will assume a much more bullish demeanor if it has clear knowledge that the series of rate hikes is over. More importantly, when the Federal Reserve does initiate its first rate cut which could occur as early as the first quarter of 2024 one would expect bullish market sentiment to return allowing gold to challenge the recent record highs just below $2100 per ounce.

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Wishing you as always good trading,

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