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Gold Tiptoes Up to Mid-$1800s After Manic Selling

CommoditiesJan 11, 2021 20:46
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By Barani Krishnan - Gold prices tiptoed higher on Monday, recovering a quarter of what was lost in last week’s manic selling, which came despite a flood of imminent U.S. stimulus money promised by the incoming Biden administration.

Both futures and spot prices of gold, which reflect real-time trades in bullion, settled up 0.8% in a partial regain of the 4% they lost Friday.

President-elect Joe Biden has signaled that sending out $2,000 checks for most Americans as coronavirus relief will be one of his orders of business after he takes office on Jan. 20. Biden has also said he plans to push out at least two more comprehensive stimulus packages that could add trillions to the U.S. federal debt, already estimated at $3.8 billion for 2020.

In ordinary times, the combined impact of such spending on the dollar logically makes gold a natural hedge.

Yet, gold tumbled last week, losing more than $100 from Wednesday’s highs of above $1,960, as U.S. 10-year yields jumped more than 20% on the week, reaching March highs, on expectations that the Biden administration’s stimulus will also boost bonds. The Dollar Index rose along with the yields, recapturing its key 90-level and intensifying the slump in gold, which it was a contrarian trade to.

Even so, gold’s rebound on Monday came despite the dollar index remaining above 90 — proving the metal’s safe-haven allure after the logic-defying selloff of last week.

At the close, Gold for February delivery on New York’s Comex rose +15.40, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,850 an ounce.

The benchmark gold futures contract lost 4.1% Friday alone and 3.2% for all of last week.

“Despite charts that suggest gold looks like a falling knife, the fundamentals still make a sound argument for higher gold prices,” said Ed Moya, analyst at New York’s online broker OANDA. “The economy can’t warrant the current trajectory of Treasury yields and that will force the Fed to talk down rates and eventually adopt yield curve control.”

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on Thursday and could reaffirm interest rates at near zero through at least 2023, and that the path of the economy is significantly dependent on the course of the virus.

Other Fed speakers making appearances this week include Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, Fed Governor Lael Brainard, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida.

Another reason for Friday’s tumble in gold: speculators dumping the yellow metal to chase record highs in bitcoin — which slumped on Monday, dousing some of the frenzy in the cryptocurrency not seen since 2018.

Expectations that U.S. consumer price inflation data on Wednesday will show a mild perk could keep gold trading above $1,850, some analysts said.

Gold Tiptoes Up to Mid-$1800s After Manic Selling

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