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Federal Reserves Open Market Committee meeting

The market place awaits the results of the U.S. Federal Reserves Open Market Committee meeting,

which began Tuesday morning and ends early Wednesday afternoon. There will be no press

conference by Fed Chairman Bernanke after this meeting. The FOMC is expected to leave U.S.

monetary policy unchanged, but as usual traders and investors will be closely parsing the FOMC

statement, looking for any clues on the timing of upcoming changes in policy.

Most in the market place presently believe the Fed will not start to cut back on its monthly bond

purchases until early next year—most likely the second quarter at the earliest. This scenario favors

the raw commodity market bulls, including the precious metals markets. Any hints at this weeks

FOMC meeting that the tapering of monetary policy could come sooner than the second quarter of

2014 would likely be bearish for most markets.

There was a heavy slate of U.S. economic data released Tuesday and it was a mixed bag for

markets. The highlight was a weaker consumer confidence index for October, amid the U.S.

government shutdown. The confidence data did give the gold market a brief lift, but it did not last long.

The U.S. dollar index was firmer Tuesday on more short covering after hitting a 10.5-month low last

Friday. Meantime, Nymex crude oil futures were lower and hovering not far above the recent two month

low.

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