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Gold Route to Persist as Stellar NFPs Point to December HikeGold Route to Persist as Stellar NFPs Point to December Hike

Fundamental Forecast for Gold:Neutral

Gold prices plunged for a third consecutive week with the precious metal down more than 4.7% to trade at 1088 ahead of the New York close on Friday. The decline marks an eight-day losing streak (longest since July) with prices at risk for further losses amid growing expectations for a December rate hike from the Fed.

A strong beat on the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday exacerbated the losses after the report crushed expectations with a print at 271K (exp 185K) as unemployment ticked lower to 5.0%. Deeper metrics like average hourly earnings, change in household employment & underemployment also topped expectations making the case for a hike at December 16th meeting- Bad news for gold which does not pay a dividend.

With just over five weeks left before the next FOMC rate decision, investors will be looking for continued strength in US economic data with October Retail Sales & the November University of Michigan Confidence surveys highlighting the dockets. A jam-packed schedule of speeches from central bank members will also be in focus as traders attempt to gauge where the committee stands on the back of Friday’s stellar jobs report. Slated for next week are remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer, Governor Daniel Tarullo, San Francisco Fed President John Williams, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, New York Fed President William Dudley and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester.

For gold, the technical damage done to prices on this decline is unlikely to be over and barring any major turn in data / Fed rhetoric, look for expectations for higher borrowing costs to continue supporting the dollar at the expense of the yellow metal. From a technical standpoint, the breakdown this week marks the largest range since the week of July 24th (2015 low) and the largest single-week decline since October 31st of 2014 (BoJ easing). Interim resistance stands at 1098 and while we’re likely to get some back-and-forth down here, the focus remains to the downside while below 1130. A break of the lows targets subsequent support objectives at 1080, 1067 and 1053.