Gold Recouples with Risk Sentiment, Eyes US Jobs Report
A re-coupling with risk sentiment appears to be taking place, with the 20-day percent-change correlation between gold and the S&P 500 benchmark US stock index tracking at the highest levels since late April. The coming week will see just over one-fifth of the companies included in that average reporting second quarter earnings. So far, with 311 companies’ results already in the rearview mirror, overall S&P 500 earnings have surprised to the upside by about 10.1 percent, sending shares higher toward a re-test of June’s swing high. Where things go from here seems uncertain however with shares treading water at resistance for much of the past week, making for a clouded outlook for risk sentiment and the yellow metal alike.
On balance, a much needed dose of clarity may emerge with the always closely-watched US jobs report. The stakes have been even higher than usual over recent months with America amounting to the last viable engine of economic recovery as Europe is increasingly sidelined by budget-related stress, Japan still mired in deflation, and China willfully hitting the brakes on its buoyant economy amid fears of overheating. Expectations call for another negative reading – this time to the tune of 60,000 – on the headline Nonfarm Payrolls figure. Traders are likely to look past this outcome however, chalking it up to census-related volatility to focus on the Private Payrolls statistic. Here, expectations call for an increase of 90,000 jobs, marking the third consecutive improvement. All told this seems promising, with employment in the world’s largest consumer market apparently moving in the right direction, albeit at a snail’s pace. Still, it appears there may be scope for cautious optimism, an outcome that could see stocks advance and pull gold along for the ride.
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