Last week, gold clocked its largest weekly gain in some seven months. The move came higher as investors flocked to gold, which is often viewed as a safe-haven investment in times of uncertainty.
Last Thursday, markets kept a close watch in the Jobs report that was due on Friday. Apart from the Job report there were many other highlighted events in the week-
Jobs Data- U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January as construction firms and retailers ramped up hiring, but wages barely rose, handing the administration under President Donald Trump, both a head start and a challenge as it seeks to boost the economy.
This report pushed gold prices higher and the sentiments have been continued for this week too.
The gold price climbed on Monday to its highest in nearly three months with investor interest in bullion improving thanks to a subdued dollar and political worries about the US and Europe.
Spot gold was up 0.6% at $1,226.91 during trading hours, having earlier touched $1,230.14, a level last reached on November 17.
Political Uncertainty- Majorly, the current uncertainty prevailing in the US is being driven further by President Donald Trump’s policies, the most controversial of which is a temporary ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries.
Moreover, Data on Friday showed U.S. wage growth slowed, reducing the odds of Federal Reserve rate increases this year and sending bullion to the biggest weekly gain since June. Uncertainty about Trump’s fiscal-stimulus policies and his administration’s spats with traditional allies helped push hedge funds’ bullish bets on gold to the most in almost two months.
Dollar- The dollar’s value against a basket of currencies has fallen nearly 4% since January 3. That was partly on expectations that the US central bank will wait to see what happens on the political and economic fronts after Friday’s monthly jobs report showed that wages barely rose. “Gold’s solid showing so far this year … is mostly attributable to a weaker dollar and last week’s standoffish Federal Reserve statement with regard to when it would next move on rates. Trump has also criticized the strength of the dollar, which has pushed the greenback lower. A weaker dollar is good for gold as gold is denominated in U.S. dollars.
French politics- Elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany this year are also adding to jitters. Apart from the Trump presidency euphoria, investors are also watching French politics, where conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Monday vowed to fight on for the presidency despite a damaging scandal involving taxpayer-funded payments to his wife for work which a newspaper alleges she did not do. French pollster Opinion way published a survey on Monday that showed independent Emannual Macron resoundingly winning a presidential election runoff against far-right leader Marine LePen.
Interest rate hike- The Fed raised rates for only the second time since the financial crisis in December and most Fed policymakers agree with Harker that three more rate hikes this year would be appropriate. Wall Street banks and interest-rate futures traders are betting the Fed will only lift borrowing costs twice this year, starting in June.
Currently there is basket of positive and negative factors that might respectively push or pull gold prices further. Of course the positive factors for gold could indeed be overturned by a significant improvement In US employment statistics, or advances in GDP, thus strengthening the Fed’s hand, but if the dollar continues to fall (President Trump appears to think it is too high) and real interest rates remain negative, gold could yet have a good way to run this year, particularly given the global geopolitical uncertainties noted above.
The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari – MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.