Gold Continues Rise on Soft Construction Numbers

Gold has posted gains in the Tuesday session. Currently, spot gold is trading at $1237.24 in the North American session. On the release front, construction numbers disappointed, as both Building Permits and Housing Starts were softer than expected.

Weak US numbers since last week have boosted gold prices, as many investors have sold US assets in return for safe-haven assets such as gold. The metal started the month of May with sharp losses, but has managed to stem the downward spiral, posting gains of 1.4% since May 11. Gold has continued to rally on Tuesday, following soft construction data in April. Building Permits dropped to 1.23 million, short of the forecast of 1.26 million. The news wasn’t any better from Housing Starts, which slipped to 1.17 million, compared to the estimate of 1.26 million. This marked the smallest number of housing starts since November 2016. Despite the weak numbers, demand for housing remains high, fueled by a labor market that is close to capacity and an unemployment of just 4.4 percent.

Gold  has also benefited from the political firestorms in Washington, as the Trump administration continues to lurch from crisis to crisis. President Trump and his aides have preoccupied with damage control, as the White House and Congress remain focused on Comeygate, as the fallout from Trump’s dismissal of FBI director James Comey continues. There was more bad news for President Trump on Tuesday, with a report in the Washington Post that Trump had shared confidential intelligence reports with Russia’s foreign minister at a meeting last week. The White House has denied any wrongdoing, but the timing is particularly bad for Trump, who is already under investigation for possible Russian involvement in the presidential campaign. The markets are concerned that Trump will be so busy trying to put out political firestorms, that his agenda of increased fiscal spending and tax reform will stall. These jitters could hurt investor confidence and send gold prices to higher levels.

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (May 16)

  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.27M. Actual 1.23M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.26M. Actual 1.17M
  • 9:15 US Capacity Utilization Rate. Estimate 76.3%. Actual 76.7%
  • 9:15 US Industrial Production. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 1.0
  • 10:00 US Mortgage Delinquencies. Actual 4.71%

*All release times are EDT

*Key events are in bold

XAU/USD for Tuesday, May 16, 2017

XAU/USD May 16 at 13:00 EST

Open: 1230.42 High: 1239.25 Low: 1230.423 Close: 1237.24

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1175 1199 1232 1260 1285 1307
  • XAU/USD posted slight gains in the Asian session. The pair was flat in the European session and has resumed upward movement in the North American session
  • 1232 is providing weak support
  • 1260 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1260 to 1285

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1232. 1199, 1175 and 1146
  • Above: 1260, 1285 and 1307

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

XAU/USD ratio continues to show movement towards long positions. Currently, long positions have a strong majority (76%), indicative of trader bias towards XAU/USD continuing to climb higher. 

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.