Silver prices are trading near the unchanged mark in quiet trade today. Stocks are also flat today while crude oil rallies and the dollar index moves higher. Many investors are likely sitting on the sidelines ahead of today’s FOMC meeting announcement, although volatility could potentially pick up as the announcement approaches and in the aftermath of the Fed’s statement.
Today’s FOMC meeting conclusion may be the most important piece of market data this month. While no changes in the Fed Funds rate are expected today, investors will be paying close attention to the Fed’s commentary and economic assessment. As debate is ongoing about the pace and timing of further interest rate hikes by the central bank, market participants will be looking for any clues about a potential hike at the Fed’s June meeting.
Today’s announcement will be followed by the Fed’s projections and the Fed Chair press conference. It is likely that the Fed will make mention of ongoing concerns over China and other global economies, and may reiterate its stance on further hikes being data-dependent.
While today’s commentary will likely be the biggest driver of the week for markets, investors will still get the latest readings on Weekly Jobless Claims, Leading Indicators, Consumer Sentiment and more.
The dollar index remains near the low end of its recent trading range but could potentially see some movement following today’s FOMC decision. If the central bank alludes to a June hike, the dollar could possibly see a boost, while if the Fed sounds more on the dovish side, the greenback could potentially test the recent lows. Further dollar weakness could potentially drive more buying in silver and gold.
Equity markets, on the other hand, have continued to recover from the bout of volatility and selling seen at the beginning of the year. The SP500 could be nearing a critical test as it gets closer to previous all-time highs. If the market is able to carve out new highs, demand for silver and gold could potentially decline. If the stock market fails, however, and begins to retreat again, demand for silver and gold could potentially increase.
While overall risk appetite seems to be on the high side currently, that can change quickly due to any number of factors including poor economic data out of China or further signs of deflation in the Eurozone.
The trend in silver remains higher for now, although the white metal could possibly be vulnerable to selling pressure if additional upside is not seen in the near future.