Gold shrugs as jobless claims sink to 49-year low

After starting the week with losses, gold has been uneventful and the trend has continued on Thursday. In the North American trade, the spot price for one ounce of gold is $1282.80, unchanged on the day. In economic news, unemployment claims dropped to 199 thousand, beating the forecast.

Unemployment claims sparkled last week, falling from 213 thousand to 199 thousand. This was the first time that the indicator dropped below the 200-thousand level since 1969. The four-week average, which is less volatile, dropped by 5.5 thousand to 215,000. The strong figures indicate that the employment picture remains bright, despite the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, which has resulted in the layoff of some 800,000 government workers. With President Trump and the Democrats locked in a deadlock over funding for a wall with Mexico, the shutdown could have a negative impact on the U.S. economy and weigh on the U.S. dollar.

Gold ended 2018 with a bang, posting gains of 4.9 percent. However, the metal is unchanged in January, despite some pushes towards the symbolic $1300 level. Despite some geopolitical hotspots such as the Chinese slowdown, Brexit and the U.S-China trade war, risk appetite has generally remained steady. Investors have opted to remain on the sidelines rather than snap up safe-haven assets like gold. Earlier in the week, China posted its weakest GDP since 1990, and if China releases further soft data, risk apprehension could rise, which could boost gold prices.

Aussie climbs as jobs data beats estimates

Euro area business growth close to stalling

XAU/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (January 24)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 219K. Actual 199K
  • 9:45 US Flash Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 53.5. Actual 54.9
  • 9:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 54.0. Actual 54.2
  • 10:00 US CB Leading Index. Estimate -0.1%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -145B
  • 11:00 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate -0.2M

*All release times are EST

*Key events are in bold

XAU/USD for Thursday, January 24, 2019

XAU/USD January 24 at 11:55 EST

Open: 1282.79 High: 1284.89 Low: 1276.91 Close: 1282.02

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1220 1236 1261 1284 1306 1326

In the Asian session, XAU/USD inched higher but then reversed directions and edged lower. The pair posted slight losses in European trade but has recovered in North American trade

  • 1261 is providing support
  • 1284 remains fluid. Currently, it is a weak resistance line
  • Current range: 1261 to 1284

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1261, 1236 and 1220
  • Above: 1284, 1306, 1326 and 1355

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.