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Gold Selling May be Restrained if US Payrolls Top Forecasts

Gold Selling May be Restrained if US Payrolls Top Forecasts

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • All Eyes on US Employment Data, Upside Surprise Suspected
  • Gold Selling May Prove Restrained if NFP Tops Expectations
  • Crude Oil Likely to Mirror Risk Trends After US Jobs Report

All eyes are on December’s US Employment data. Expectations suggest the economy added 197,000 jobs in December, marking a slight slowdown from November’s 203,000 increase. The unemployment rate is seen holding unchanged at 7 percent, a five-year low.

US economic data has increasingly outperformed relative to expectations in recent months, suggesting analysts continue to underestimate the resilience of the North American giant and opening the door for an upside surprise. Leading indicators seem to agree: the latest sets of ISM and ADP data point to accelerated hiring in December.

This raises a key question: does datathat bolsters the case for continued “tapering” of the Fed’s QE program have market-moving potential or have investors already priced in the central bank’s new status quo? In the commodities space, gold prices have closely mirrored the rally in US Treasuries yields since late October, hinting the response from the yellow metal may be somewhat restrained. Crude oil is another matter however.

The WTI contract has been swiftly rebuilding its relationship with the S&P 500 – a benchmark for sentiment trends – with the 20-day percent-change correlation between the two assets now at a six-week high (0.53). That suggests oil’s response depends on the extent to which risk aversion is finally triggered by the prospect of stimulus withdrawal. Whether or not such a scenario will materialize is unclear at this point.

Capitalize on Shifts in Market Mood with the DailyFX Speculative Sentiment Index.

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS Prices fell as expected after putting in a Bearish Engulfing candlestick pattern. A break below 91.74 – the November 27 swing low – exposes the 50% Fibonacci expansion at 90.50. Reversing back above 92.91, the 38.2% level, aims for the 23.6% Fib at 95.90.

Gold_Selling_May_be_Restrained_if_US_Payrolls_Top_Forecasts_body_Picture_3.png, Gold Selling May be Restrained if US Payrolls Top Forecasts

GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS Prices turned higher as expected after putting in a Harami candlestick pattern. A break above resistance in the 1217.75-22.01 area, marked by the December 2 low and the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement, has exposed the 38.2% level at 1248.70. A further push beyond that aims for the 1261.28-70.28 region, bracketed by the October 11 swing low and the 50% Fib.

Gold_Selling_May_be_Restrained_if_US_Payrolls_Top_Forecasts_body_Picture_4.png, Gold Selling May be Restrained if US Payrolls Top Forecasts

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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