Gold has posted sharp losses in the Thursday session, after a brief pause on Wednesday. In North American trade, the spot price for an ounce of gold is $1308.40 down 0.76% on the day. In economic news, Thursday is quite busy. Personal Spending slowed to 0.2%, matching the forecast. Unemployment claims dropped to an impressive 210 thousand, well below the estimate of 222 thousand. Next up, Fed chair Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee. On Friday, the US publishes UoM Consumer Sentiment. Brexit will also be in focus, as Prime Minister May speaks about Britain’s departure from the EU.
Jerome Powell will be on center stage on Thursday, as he testifies before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell addressed the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, and his remarks were decidedly hawkish. Fed chair said that the current policy of gradual rate increases would continue. He added that the economy was strong and that he expected inflation to move up to the Fed target of 2 percent. Importantly, Powell did not address the question of an acceleration of rate hikes, but his hawkish stance has increased the likelihood that the Fed will increase it projection from three to four rate hikes this year. Any hints that Fed will quicken its pace of rate hikes would be bullish for the US dollar.
Gold tends to rise in times of uncertainty, and a crisis is brewing up between London and Brussels, after the EU published a draft of the legal framework of the Brexit agreement. The May government responded by saying it could not accept the draft. Two items in particular have raised the ire of London. First, the proposal that EU would keep Northern Ireland in the bloc’s customs union, which could mean a border between Northern Ireland and the UK. Second, that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) would have the final say in any disputes over the Brexit agreement. May wasted no time responding to the EU proposal, saying that any type of border between the UK and Northern Ireland would threaten the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom. May is unlikely to accept a role for the ECJ after Brexit, as this would be seen as undermining British sovereignty. Meanwhile, the Europeans dismissed May’s proposal that a final trade deal would allow some divergence with EU regulations in certain industries, but the Europeans have dismissed this as ‘cherry picking’, which they say is a non-starter. May will lay out her post-Brexit vision of relations with the EU in a speech on Friday and if the Europeans pour cold water on her plan, nervous investors could snap up gold, a traditional safe-haven asset.
Thursday (March 1)
- 8:30 US Core PCE Price Index. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.3%
- 8:30 US Personal Spending. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.2%
- 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 226K. Actual 210K
- 8:30 US Personal Income. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.4%
- 9:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.9
- 10:00 US Fed Chair Powell Testifies
- 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 58.7. Actual 55.3
- 10:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.3%
- 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 70.5
- 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -71B
- All Day – US Total Vehicle Sales. Estimate 17.2M
Friday (March 2)
- Tentative – Prime Minister May Speaks
- 10:00 US Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 99.2
*All release times are GMT
*Key events are in bold
XAU/USD for Thursday, March 1, 2018
XAU/USD March 1 at 10:50 EST
Open: 1318.38 High: 1319.48 Low: 1302.83 Close: 1308.40
- XAU/USD has posted steady losses throughout the Thursday session
- 1307 is under strong pressure in support
- 1337 is the next resistance line
- Current range: 1307 to 1337
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1307, 1285 and 1260
- Above: 1337, 1375, 1416 and 1433
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
In the Thursday session XAU/USD ratio is showing short positions with a slim majority (51%), indicative of a lack of trader bias towards XAU/USD.