Following the volatility associated with last week’s U.S. rate hike, precious metals participants are left to ponder what comes next. In the remaining two shortened trading weeks of 2015, it would appear that the combination of physical demand and speculative short positions being covered are likely to keep our market steady with gold trading between $1,050.00 and $1,085.00 as volume and liquidity decrease by the day. As we begin to focus on 2016, all eyes and the headline story will be how often does the Fed raise interest rates and what will the impact be on all global markets. Early speculation is that the FOMC will raise rates by 100 basis points in 2016. This will be accomplished by four quarterly hikes of 25 basis points. If this turns out to be true, gold and company could be on the defensive for much of the year. If on the other hand, the Fed hikes less than 4 times and especially if there is no hike in the first quarter, I would look for our market to record gains for the first time in a few years in 2016.