Gold prices are holding relatively steady on Tuesday, holding on to most of its gains garnered over the past three days. Earlier today, it posted a 3-month high before paring gains.
From a technical perspective however, a near-term pullback may be healthy and necessary in order to clear the path for further gains. After all, its 14-day relative strength index has been flirting with the 70 mark, which typically denotes overbought conditions.
That isn’t to take anything away from spot gold’s start to the trading week – one that gold bulls will be savouring.
Bullion has punched decisively above its 200-day simple moving average, having built on a series of higher highs since forming a double bottom in March, even threatening to fall into a bear market (20% drop from its record high). It dipped below the $1680 line on a couple of occasions in March, only to go on and advance by more than 9% since.
Perhaps most importantly, gold prices this week have broken out of the downtrend it has adhered to since posting its record high back in August 2020.
Why are gold prices climbing?
1) Investors’ desire to hedge against inflation
The precious metal is traditionally seen as a way to preserve one’s wealth during times when the prices of goods and services climb higher, eroding consumers’ purchasing power along the way. With markets having grown more concerned about the prospects of faster US inflation, it has helped boost gold prices.
2) The weaker dollar
Gold tends to have an inverse relationship with the US dollar. In other words, as the buck goes up, gold goes down, and vice versa. With that in mind, the greenback has been declining for a third consecutive day, with the dollar index (DXY) falling by about one percent since last Thursday.
3) Stabilizing US Treasury yields
Recall throughout the first quarter, Treasury yields spiked higher which roiled various asset classes, including the zero-yielding yellow metal. However, of late, 10-year Treasury yields haven’t strayed too far away from the psychologically-important 1.60% line over the past month, while real rates on the same tenor are falling back deeper into negative territory. All that has created a more conducive environment for gold to explore more of its upside.
4) Volatility in cryptocurrencies
In recent months, markets had been questioning gold’s suitability as an inflation hedge, with some segments of the market apparently preferring alternative assets. However, given the volatility seen in the likes of Bitcoin of late, it appears that investors are flocking back towards an asset that has stood the test of time.
5) ETF inflows
The flow of funds in and out of gold ETFs have had a major say on spot prices. According to Bloomberg data, these bullion-backed ETFs have been adding on troy ounces of gold for a 7th straight day, which is the longest streak of additions since 6 January. Although on a year-to-date basis these ETFs have net sold about 6.63 million ounces of the precious metal, recent purchases suggest that investors are coming round after a tumultuous Q1.
6) A dovish Fed
Policymakers at the world’s most influential central bank, the Federal Reserve, have repeatedly assured markets that the inflation surges are likely to be temporary. Hence, the Fed is in no rush to pull back its support for the financial markets, nor bring forward any US interest rate hike. Although markets took some time to buy into that messaging, the repeated assurances by Fed officials have enabled gold prices to climb higher.
What else could move gold prices this week?
- The minutes from the latest FOMC meeting, to be released on Wednesday, could offer more clues about the Fed’s inflation outlook. More signs that the Fed is willing to tolerate an inflation overshoot could spur on gold bulls.
- Thursday’s weekly US jobless claims could be key as well. Another better-than-expected reading on the labour market could prompt investors to raise their expectations for faster US inflation, adding to gold’s gains in the process.
- The rest of the week is also set to feature more speeches and appearances by Fed officials. Any hint about the Fed’s outlook on the US economy and consumer prices, and the eventual policy response by these central bankers, could also move gold prices and the dollar.
Could we see $2000 gold?
Markets are currently pricing in just an 8.4% chance that spot gold would breach the $2000 mark by the end of this quarter.
While there appears to be plenty of tailwinds in play at the moment, gold prices still have another 7% to make up for before reaching that psychologically-important mark.
Gold bulls would need a significant ramp up in any of the 6 reasons listed above in order to close that gap and achieve the $2000 handle once more.
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