Gold Subdued as No Surprises from US Job Numbers

Gold continues to have a quiet week as the metal trades at a spot price of $1210.70 an ounce in the North American session. In economic news, ADP Nonfarm Payrolls came in at 173 thousand, very close to the forecast. Unemployment Claims were almost unchanged at 267 thousand, within expectations. On Friday, we’ll get a look at additional US employment data, highlighted by Nonfarm Employment Change.

Is the Fed planning to raise interest rates? Recent comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and other Fed policymakers have strongly hinted that a rate hike is on the table this summer. On Friday, Yellen said that if the US economy continued to improve, a rate hike would be appropriate in the “coming months”. This was followed by St. Louis Reserve President James Bullard, who said on Monday that global markets were “well prepared” for a summer interest rate rise, although he didn’t provide any specific dates. Odds of a rate hike in June have increased, but the Fed will be hard-pressed to raise rates if key indicators don’t show improvement, particularly inflation numbers. According to CME Group, traders have priced in a June rate hike at 28%, 60% for July and 68% in September. Market sentiment has strongly shifted towards the Fed raising rates, and this could boost the US dollar against its rivals.

OPEC members are meeting on Thursday in Vienna to discuss oil prices, but analysts don’t expect members to reach an agreement on a production cap or new targets, given the deep animosity between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran has refused to agree on an output policy in recent years, preventing members from reaching an agreement to lower or freeze production in order to boost low oil prices. Iran reiterated its policy on Wednesday, saying it would not sign off on any commitment regarding output levels. The current situation has allowed OPEC countries to pump at will, as members have adopted a mantra of “every man for himself”, jockeying for a larger piece of the oil market pie. If the OPEC meeting defies expectations and ends with an agreement, we could see volatility in the oil markets.

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (June 1)

  • All Day – OPEC Meetings
  • 7:30 US Challenger Job Cuts. Actual -26.5%. 
  • 8:15 US ADP Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 174K. Actual 173K
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 270K. Actual 267K
  • 8:35 US FOMC Member Jerome Powell Speaks
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 83B.Actual 82B
  • 11:00 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate -2.7M. Actual -1.4M

Upcoming Key Events

Friday (June 3)

  • 8:30 US Average Hourly Earnings. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 159K
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.9%
  • 10:00 US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.4

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are EDT

XAU/USD for Thursday, June 2, 2016

XAU/USD June 2 at 11:30 EDT

Open: 1213.57 Low: 1210.21 High: 1217.69 Close: 1210.70

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1164 1191 1207 1232 1255 1279
  • XAU/USD was flat in the Asian and European sessions. The pair has posted small losses in North American trade
  • 1207 is a weak support line. It could break in the North American session
  • There is resistance at 1232
  • Current range: 1207 to 1232

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1207, 1191, 1164 and 1130
  • Above: 1232, 1255 and 1279

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

XAU/USD ratio is almost unchanged on Thursday, consistent with the lack of movement from XAU/USD. Long positions maintain a strong majority (69%), indicative of trader bias towards XAU/USD reversing directions and moving to higher levels.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.