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Gold Boosted by Softer Fed Stance- Resistance at 1130

Gold Boosted by Softer Fed Stance- Resistance at 1130

2016-01-31 08:05:00
Michael Boutros, Strategist
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Gold Boosted by Softer Fed Stance- Resistance at 1130Gold Boosted by Softer Fed Stance- Resistance at 1130

Fundamental Forecast for Gold:Neutral

Gold prices are higher this week with the precious metal rallying nearly 1.8% to trade at 1117 ahead of the New York close on Friday. The move comes amid continued volatility in broader risk markets with the FOMC rate decision fueling speculation that the central bank will likely have to delay subsequent rate hikes. Although the dollar was weaker for the majority of the session, a late-week rally took the Dow Jones FXCM U.S. Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR) to fresh highs. Ongoing technical divergence however continues to suggest the greenback remains vulnerable- with bullion standing to gain from dollar softness.

The Federal Reserve held interest rates this week as expected with the accompanying commentary citing a slightly softer tone with regards to the assessment of the economy and the probable timing of future rate hikes. FOMC officials noted that they were, "closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labor market and inflation, and for the balance of risks to the outlook." The commentary suggests that indeed the committee may have gotten a tad ahead of itself when they cited expectations for 4 rate hikes this year. Nevertheless, as the Fed attempts to buy more time gold may continue to regain some of its lost luster as traders look to the relative safety of the yellow metal amid the ongoing turmoil & volatility in broader equity markets.

Looking ahead to next week, traders will be eyeing a loaded economic docket for US data with Personal Income/Spending, ISM Manufacturing, Factory Orders, Durable Goods Orders and the highly anticipated Non-Farm Payroll report on tap. On the back of last week’ FOMC rate decision, a weaker print on US data could kick-out interest rate expectations even further- a positive for gold prices.

Gold price-action has remained constructive since the start of the year with the rally testing resistance at the upper median-line parallel extending off the October high this week before pulling back on Thursday. Heading into next week the immediate risk is for a move lower, before mounting the next offensive with confluence support seen lower at 1096/98 where the July low-week / low-day closes converge on slope support extending off the December lows. We’ll reserve this level as our bullish invalidation with a break below targeting 1088 & the 61.8% retracement of the advance at 1078. Bottom line: we’ll be looking for a pullback next week to offer favorable long entries with a breach higher targeting the 200-day moving average at 1131 & the 61.8% retracement of the decline off the October high at 1136.

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