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Gold Prices Look to Fed Commentary for Direction Cues

Gold Prices Look to Fed Commentary for Direction Cues

2017-03-21 07:37:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Talking Points:

  • Gold prices looking to Fed commentary for direction cues
  • Crude oil prices fell amid risk aversion after G20 meeting
  • API inventory data may push WTI to test key trend support

Gold prices continued to rise as front-end US Treasury yields declined, touching the lowest level in a month. Not surprisingly, this bolstered the relative appeal of non-interest-bearing assets including the yellow metal. This followed comments from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans. He struck a relatively reserved tone, saying the envisioned 2-3 rate hikes this year. That is bit dovish relative to the status-quo expectation of three increases, which has lost the ability to impress judging by the aftermath of last week’s FOMC meeting.

Comments from US central bank officials remain in focus in the day ahead. Bill Dudley, Esther George and Loretta Mester – Presidents of the Fed’s New York, Kansas City and Cleveland branches, respectively – are due to speak. Mester and George tend to lean to the hawkish side of the spectrum while Dudley represents the center ground. He is also a voter on this year’s FOMC committee. If his remarks sound timid – echoing those of Evans – gold may extend its advance. A confident, pro-tightening posture may cap gains however.

Crude oil prices fell alongside share prices as expected, with risk appetite soured across financial markets after the communique from a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors over the weekend conspicuously omitted a previously standard opposition to protectionism. The change was reportedly made at the behest of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. This stoked fears about the threat posed to the international commercial order – and thereby global growth – by the Trump administration.

Looking ahead, weekly API crude oil inventory data enters the spotlight. Traders’ supply outlook remains clouded as the OPEC supply cut scheme and swelling swing supply, particularly from the US, vie for influence. The latter appears to be gaining the upper hand: CFTC COT data showed large speculators cut long WTI futures bets by the most in at least 11 years last week. Meanwhile, short exposure grew by the most in nearly five months. Another increase in stockpiles may encourage more of the same, sinking prices.

What do retail traders’ buy/sell decisions hint about where gold prices are going? Find out here!

GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSISGold prices continued to rise as expected, putting the fourth consecutive gain to make for the longest win streak in two months. From here, a daily close above the 38.2% Fibonacci expansionat 1248.58 exposes the 50% level at 1265.23. Alternatively, a reversal back below the 23.6% Fib at 1227.99 opens the door for retest of the 14.6% expansion at 1215.29.

Gold Prices Look to Fed Commentary for Direction Cues

Chart created using TradingView

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSISCrude oil prices suffered their largest decline in six days but ultimately held within the bounds of a now-familiar range. Near-term support remains at 47.22, the 50% Fibonacci retracement, with a close below that overturning the rising trend set from early August 2016 and targeting the 61.8% level at 45.33. Alternatively, a turn back above the 38.2% Fib at 49.11 exposes the 23.6% retracementat 51.44 anew.

Gold Prices Look to Fed Commentary for Direction Cues

Chart created using TradingView

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

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