Although gold futures are trading slightly higher, today’s trading activity is highlighted by the fact that gold traded to a lower low and a lower high than yesterday. Currently, gold futures (August Comex contract) are trading at $1,227.80, which is a net gain of $0.50 on the day. It is the intraday low that is most noteworthy.
Traders took the precious yellow metal to $1,220.90, a new low for the year and a price point that traders have not seen since July 2017. Today’s selling pressure was once again dominated by dollar strength. In fact, it was earlier dollar strength which pressured gold pricing to this new low for 2018.
The U.S. dollar index once again tested the current resistance level which resides at 95, with the index trading to an intraday high of 95.18 before giving back those gains. Nonetheless, the dollar gained 15 points in trading today and is currently fixed at 94.855.
As of 4:15 PM Eastern standard time, physical gold is currently trading $0.30 higher on the day. This fractional increase is the net result of traders bidding gold pricing higher by $1.80, with dollar strength taking away $1.50, according to the Kitco gold index (KGX).
Dollar strength was not the only factor weighing heavily on precious metals pricing. There was also added pressure from the risk-on market sentiment created from today’s gains in U.S. equities, as well as the belief that interest is poised for more rate hikes, on a timetable of every three months.
Recent testimony by Jerome Powell laid out the current monetary policy for the Central Bank which is indicating a much more hawkish Federal Reserve in terms of the frequency of rate hikes. This is an indication that the fed plans to initiate two more interest rate hikes this year and will continue to raise interest rates every three months.
These rate hikes, if enacted as Powell suggested, will undoubtedly be a very positive factor for the U.S. dollar and almost guarantees that the dollar index will increase in value this year. As such, it will be challenging for gold pricing to advance and move to higher ground.
Even tepid economic data has not created any greater demand for gold. According to MarketWatch, “Gold prices showed little reaction in electronic trading Wednesday afternoon following the release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. The snapshot of domestic economic activity found that the rapidly expanding U.S. economy is running out of room to grow any faster.”
According to Fawad Razaqzada, a technical analyst at Forex.com, “The current dispute between the U.S. and its trading partners in China, North America, and Europe has actually been a negative for gold because it means rising import costs may drive up inflationary pressures.”
Gold is, at best, fighting an uphill battle against a strong dollar and solid risk-on market sentiment.
Wishing you as always, good trading,