Gold has posted slight losses in the Tuesday session. In North American trade, spot gold is trading at $1254.74, down 0.23% on the day. On the release front, there was only one major event. JOLTS Jobs Openings jumped to 6.16 million, well above the estimate of 5.74 million. This marked a record high, and comes on the heels of last week’s strong nonfarm payrolls report. On Wednesday, the US releases two employment indicators – Preliminary Nonfarm Productivity and US Preliminary Unit Labor Costs.
Gold prices have risen in recent weeks, taking advantage of a struggling US dollar. Investor appetite for the US dollar has softened, as political risk has been growing and there are doubts if the Fed will raise rates before 2018. President Trump’s administration seems rudderless and Trump’s inability to pass healthcare legislation has increased political risk in the US. As well, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy remains unclear. Earlier this year the Fed strongly hinted that it planned to raise rates three times in 2017, but has only pressed the rate trigger twice. In June, Fed Chair Janet Yellen shrugged off low inflation, saying that it was due to “transient” factors, leaving the impression that the Fed still planned one final hike. However, inflation has not improved and the Fed has changed its tune. Last week, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said he opposed further Fed hikes, warning that another hike would actually delay inflation from hitting the Fed’s target of 2%. The markets have become more skeptical about a rate hike in December, as the odds have fallen to 33%, compared to 43% a week ago.
The US economy continues to grapple with weak inflation, which is also apparent in the labor market. Although the nonfarm payrolls report in July easily beat expectations and the unemployment rate dropped from 4.4% to 4.3%, wage growth remains a sore point. In July, Average Hourly Earnings remained unchanged at 0.3%, and the indicator has failed to break above 0.3% in 2017. The weakness in earnings growth has puzzled economists, as a red-hot labor market should translate into higher wages. In fact, wage growth has actually slowed in 2017, and this could have significant economic repercussions, as consumers are responding by holding tight on the purse strings and reducing spending.
Tuesday (August 8)
- 6:00 US NFIB Small Business Index. Estimate 103.6. Actual 105.2
- 10:00 US JOLTS Job Openings. Estimate 5.74M. Actual 6.16M
- 10:00 US IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism. Estimate 50.6. Actual 52.2
Wednesday (August 9)
- 8:30 US Preliminary Nonfarm Productivity. Estimate 0.7%
- 8:30 US Preliminary Unit Labor Costs. Estimate 1.1%
*All release times are EDT
*Key events are in bold
XAU/USD for Tuesday, August 8, 2017
XAU/USD August 8 at 12:40 EST
Open: 1257.23 High: 1260.02 Low: 1255.76 Close: 1259.10
- XAU/USD edged higher in the Asian and European sessions. The pair has posted considerable losses in North American trade
- 1232 is providing support
- 1260 is under pressure in resistance
- Current range: 1232 to 1260
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1232, 1199 and 1170
- Above: 1260, 1285, 1307 and 1337
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
XAU/USD ratio is showing slight movement towards short positions. Currently, long positions have a majority (53%), indicative of XAU/USD reversing directions and moving higher.