U.S. stocks are reporting modest gains today as investors are guarded in anticipation of potential quantitative easing (QE3). Thursday will conclude a two day session of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) after which many analysts foresee Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke potentially announcing further government stimulus. Economists are expecting the announcement following 43 consecutive months of unemployment above 8% and an economy that grew less than 2% in the second quarter of 2012. A poll of economists who put the chances of QE3 above 50% resulted in 39 out of 51 predicting action on the part of the Fed during this week. “Monetary stimulus will ‘shore up’ a fundamentally weak economy, as opposed to helping the U.S. economy attain a significantly faster underlying rate of growth,” said John Lonski, economist at Moody’s Investors Service.
Gold futures are also realizing humble gains as a German court ruling has allowed Berlin to ratify a final euro zone rescue fund along with news from the FOMC. “With the market’s main focus on this week’s [Fed] meeting…prices were buoyed by a stronger euro,” said strategists at HSBC. The next 24 hours could prove to be eventful for precious metals markets.
At 1 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:
- Gold, $1,732.30, Down $1.60.
- Silver, $33.12, Down $0.46.
- Platinum, $1,649.20, Up $41.20.
- Palladium, $679.10, Up $4.30.
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