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It wasn’t the most forceful pushback it’s true, but the financial markets paid attention to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s attempt to say interest rate cuts aren’t just around the corner for about two minutes. And then the rally based on a belief in 4 or 5 cuts in 2024, and as early as March (and certainly by May), was off and running again.
Gold (for February 2024 delivery) was trading at $2087 an ounce on New York Comex today, December 1. That easily beats the old record high of $2051.50 an ounce back in August 2020. The shiny metal is up 12% from $1830 an ounce in early October. The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), which holds gold, is up 2.53% in the last month as of November 30. History, and the price action on the Gold Shares ETF, tells us that at this point in a strong gold rally, it doesn’t pay to chase gold itself, but it does pay to buy shares of gold miners.
China’s limits on graphite exports, a key ingredient in electric car batteries, go into effect this week
Meetings between presidents come and go, but China’s efforts to capture the high ground in technologies for the future economy–and to defend that ground once captured–just go on. On December 1 China will begin requiring export permits for some graphite products, another attempt to control critical mineral supply in response to challenges to its global manufacturing dominance. Beijing’s move to restrict graphite exports will have a disproportionate impact on foreign makers of electric vehicle battery components who have not yet shifted to using as much synthetic material as Chinese counterparts, industry insiders and experts told Reuters.
The pace of improvement in the U.S. inflation rate is set to slow in the coming year. According to the economists surveyed by Bloomberg in its latest monthly outing, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index-—-the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation–will still be running at a 2.5% pace at the end of 2024. That’s up slightly from the 2.4% prediction in last month’s Bloomberg poll. Importantly it’s still significantly higher than the Fed’s 2% target inflation rate.
No turkeys here in Italy so we’re making a pork roast with rosemary. At a farmhouse in Umbria with friends for the holidays. Someone saw a wild boar today on her walk in the vineyards. Back in Venice on Saturday. Back posting tomorrow. I wish everyone a great holiday.
Federal Reserve officials at their November 1 meeting were agreed on a strategy to “proceed carefully” on future interest-rate moves and base any further tightening on progress toward their inflation goal. “All participants agreed that the committee was in a position to proceed carefully and that policy decisions at every meeting would continue to be based on the totality of incoming information,” according to minutes of the November 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released today, Tuesday, November 21. At the meeting the Fed held its benchmark lending rate in a range of 5.25% to 5.5% for the second straight meeting.