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Gold Price Forecast: Losing Momentum, Even as Vol Perks Up - Levels for XAU/USD

Gold Price Forecast: Losing Momentum, Even as Vol Perks Up - Levels for XAU/USD

Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist
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Gold Price Forecast Overview:

  • Gold volatility initially surged at the start of the session, but its fade during the day has contributed to gold prices giving up their gains.
  • Gold prices are fully below their daily 5-, 8-, 13-, and 21-EMA envelope, which is now in bearish sequential order.
  • According to the IG Client Sentiment Index, gold prices have a mixed bias.

Gold Prices Out of the Spotlight

Gold prices are simply along for the ride in broader markets right now, a mere footnote to the volatility encompassing equity markets and some single stocks involved in a tug-of-war between retail and institutional traders. Consistent selling across asset classes mid-week suggest dramatic repositioning and potential liquidation, and the jump in gold price volatility – even without the corresponding rally in gold prices – suggests greater uncertainty settling into financial markets.

Gold Prices and Gold Volatility Out of Step

Historically, gold prices have a relationship with volatility unlike other asset classes. While other asset classes like bonds and stocks don’t like increased volatility signaling greater uncertainty around cash flows, dividends, coupon payments, etc.gold tends to benefit during periods of higher volatility.

GVZ (Gold Volatility) Technical Analysis: Daily Price Chart (January 2020 to January 2021) (Chart 1)

Gold Price Forecast: Losing Momentum, Even as Vol Perks Up - Levels for XAU/USD

Gold volatility has fallen in recent days, dragging down gold prices. Gold volatility (as measured by the Cboe’s gold volatility ETF, GVZ, which tracks the 1-month implied volatility of gold as derived from the GLD option chain) is trading at 19.51. The 5-day correlation between GVZ and gold prices is -0.51 while the 20-day correlation is +0.69; one week ago, on January 28, the 5-day correlation was -0.39 and the 20-day correlation was +0.63.

A Quick Reminder on the Fundamentals

The longer-term fiscal stimulus impulse in the context of a low interest rate environment should be beneficial for gold prices (akin to the 2009-2011 period) – it’s that simple from my point of view.

Gold Price Rate Technical Analysis: Daily Chart (January 2020 to January 2021) (Chart 2)

Gold Price Forecast: Losing Momentum, Even as Vol Perks Up - Levels for XAU/USD

Gold prices remain below the August-November 2020 downtrend, continuing to aim towards a familiar support area, the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement of the 2015 low/2020 high range at 1832.48, as well as the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the 2020 low/high range at 1836.97. Failure below these levels opens up a quick drop back to the yearly low towards 1802.96. Gold prices are fully below their daily 5-, 8-, 13-, and 21-EMA envelope, which is now in bearish sequential order. Daily MACD is trending lower below its signal line, while daily Slow Stochastics are neutral.

Gold Price Technical Analysis: Weekly Chart (October 2015 to January 2021) (Chart 3)

Gold Price Forecast: Losing Momentum, Even as Vol Perks Up - Levels for XAU/USD

In prior outlooks it has been noted that “breaking the downtrend from the August and November 2020 highs as well as the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement from the 2020 high/low range suggests that the next leg higher is beginning. A move higher through 1965.57 would suggest that the series of weekly ‘lower highs and lower lows’ has ended.” The bullish breakout never materialized, and instead, the first week of 2021 yielded a bearish outside engulfing bar, which occurring at a relative high, marks a weekly key reversal.

Technically speaking, further downside from here would warrant a reconsideration the 1Q’21 forecast, which suggests that gold prices could hit new highs this quarter.

IG CLIENT SENTIMENT INDEX: GOLD PRICE FORECAST (January 28, 2021) (CHART 4)

Gold Price Forecast: Losing Momentum, Even as Vol Perks Up - Levels for XAU/USD

Gold: Retail trader data shows 82.84% of traders are net-long with the ratio of traders long to short at 4.83 to 1. The number of traders net-long is 5.82% lower than yesterday and 4.79% lower from last week, while the number of traders net-short is 4.02% higher than yesterday and 16.49% lower from last week.

We typically take a contrarian view to crowd sentiment, and the fact traders are net-long suggests Gold prices may continue to fall.

Positioning is less net-long than yesterday but more net-long from last week. The combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us a further mixed Gold trading bias.

--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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