Recently, gold is being pulled apart by two significant forces. On one side where the escalating tensions in the Middle East are igniting gold prices a December rate hike is pulling them down on the other side.
Off late, there has been some excitement regarding gold as tensions escalate in Middle East. Turkey had downed a Russian Military Jet, accusing violation of air space, which Russia denied. Russia warned Turkey over serious retaliation and now sending an advanced air defense system to protect its air crafts. NATO members are scratching their heads over how Russia might retaliate.
Gold made some gains overnight on a slight softening in the dollar and heightened geopolitical tensions after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane but these proved short-lived.
Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday morning in London on growing expectations of a December interest-rate rise by the US Federal Reserve, which continued to weigh on sentiment.
The spot gold price traded at $1,073.70/1,074 per ounce, down $1.50 on Tuesday’s close.
Markets were focused on the economic data that was released in the US ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays on Thursday. The reports included the core durable goods orders, unemployment claims, the core PCE price index, durable goods orders, personal spending and new home sales.
In spite of the release of these reports, market volatility had been low on Thursday due to Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
The metal is trading at its lowest levels since February 2010 as investors weigh the prospects of higher US interest rates after data pointed to a strengthening economy. With gold typically seen as a haven asset, demand for the metal is falling on the prospect of higher returns in US securities.
Moreover gold will lose its appeal post a rate hike. Raising rates “increases the opportunity cost of holding gold. Gold has zero yields — it actually costs you money to hold it — so there’s more incentive to put your money into a yield-earning dollar investment and hence the demand for gold will decline.
Currently market participants currently see a 78 percent chance of a US rate lift-off by year-end, according to the CME Group Fed Watch – a tool to gauge the market’s view of an interest rate hike.
If the rate hike expectations are met, the US dollar is likely to gain further. Gold tends to move inversely to the greenback. A stronger dollar pressures all commodities since it makes them more expensive in other currencies, plus some investors are less likely to buy gold as an alternative currency when the greenback is muscular.
Thanksgiving may be over in the U.S., but traders will still have a full plate next week.
Fed Meeting- The US Federal Reserve will meet on December 15-16 to decide if will lift interest rates from near-zero levels for the first time in almost a decade.
Moreover, markers will watch Yellen’s comments to see if she offers any further clues on what to expect in the way of monetary policy when the Federal Open Market Committee meets. Yellen is scheduled to appear before the Economic Club of Washington on Wednesday.
Major reports- Other major U.S. reports next week include :-
- The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index on Monday
- Institute for Supply Management manufacturing PMI Tuesday
- The ADP private-sector jobs and Fed Beige Book report Wednesday
- Non-manufacturing index and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.
The robustness of the November employemnt report may put the final nail in the rate raise coffin, one way or another. Employment will have to be very weak for the Fed not to go ahead with rate liftoff.
ECB- the European Central Bank will meet next Thursday and expectations are for it to expand its asset purchase program and cutting its deposit rate. ECB will announce further loosening of monetary policy while the Fed starts tightening. The ECB holds a monetary-policy meeting. Expectations have been growing for the central bank to increase its asset-purchase program known as quantitative easing, particularly after ECB President Mario Draghi said last week that “we will do what we must” to raise inflation to an acceptable level.
ECB monetary policy and US NFP report for November scheduled next week is happening close to a key support area and is very critical for gold. As a result, traders will be on the lookout for the November report next Friday.