Last fortnight gold fell near two week lows. It was heading for its biggest weekly fall in nearly four months on 28th Feb. A strengthening dollar backed by rising equities created pressure on the yellow metal. Better sentiment on the stock markets and a reluctance by the physical gold investors are weighing on its price.
The dollar favoured over the Jobs data and Gross Domestic Product news. This resulted in some long liquidation. The dollar, which gained impetus from better than expected fourth quarter U.S. GDP data, hit a 10-week high against the yen.
Rallies in the dollar were taking their toll on gold much more than they were a few weeks ago which is a clear sign that sentiment towards the yellow metal has shifted.
Just when the sentiment towards the yellow metal shifted, gold prices soared in the past week. Gold prices soared to their highest level in 10 months on Tuesday, driven by technical buying, dovish central bank commentary and continuing uncertainty as the end of the 90-day trade truce between the U.S. and China draws near.
Just when investors became pessimistic about gold, some developments in the trade war resulted in the yellow metal hovering to its 10 month high on Wednesday mainly due to Fed comments and Equities.
Fed- Looking beyond the dollar’s relationship with gold, the yellow metals prices have been boosted by Fed commentary recently. The markets in general reacted favourably to the dovish tilt adopted by the Fed following its December rate hike.
Equity- Stocks were still climbing on Tuesday with key indices like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average on a steady upward march since the beginning of the year. However, both indices started to struggle early Wednesday as investors awaited the latest commentary from the Federal Reserve.
Gold found further support from job numbers released in Friday.
On Friday, prices got a jolt after a report showed that US hiring last month was the weakest in more than a year. The news helped gold push back above US$1,300 an ounce amid renewed demand for a haven.
Spot gold later settled at US$1,298.30 an ounce, down 1.14 percent for the week.
Gold has been caught in a tug of war. Four straight months of price gains amid economic hand-wringing gave way to losses last month as the US dollar gained traction.
The two main factors that are expected to influence gold in the months to come-
Dollar- Despite the recent strength in the dollar, the U.S. currency is expected to weaken “noticeably.” When that finally does happen, it should boost gold prices further—if the usual negative correlation between the two assets returns. They believe “a fair amount” of the greenback’s length has been removed but still see it as “structurally overvalued.”
Central Bank buying- central banks, especially Russia and China, have boosted the share of gold in their foreign reserves. Other analysts have also pointed out this same thing recently. The World Gold Council estimated a 74% year-over-year increase in this “official sector demand” in 2018.
Short term factors like US economic numbers and long term including a more dovish U.S. Fed, U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, Italian recession, fear of global economic slowdown, equity volatility, and increased central-bank buying are expected to push gold higher and help it perform well in 2019.