Before yesterday’s announcement, market observers believed there was a 99% chance that the Fed would raise interest rates by a quarter percent. With that in mind, one might wonder why gold has slid precipitously over the past 24 hours. The answer lies in the Fed’s commentary. The initial news of the rate hike had essentially zero effect on precious metals prices; the decision was fully “priced-in.” However, as analysts combed through the FOMC board’s statement, a more hawkish tone emerged. While still rather vague and non-committal, the Fed’s narrative left the door open for another 2017 rate hike if economic data remains solidly positive.
The net effect: the dollar strengthened while both gold and silver saw sharp drops today. The yellow metal reached a three-week low while silver dropped to the lowest price since May 19th. The only bright spot in the metals landscape was palladium, which has seen a dramatic rally over the past month. After settling in the mid-$700s a month ago, the industrial-oriented metal has surged to nearly $900 per ounce.