Gold soars 2% after Powell speech, Trump tweets

Gold surged 2% on Friday as investors interpreted U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech as leaning towards a dovish monetary policy stance and President Donald Trump’s latest comments exacerbated trade tensions with China.

Spot gold rose 1.9% at $1,527.20 an ounce, shaking off slight headwinds ahead of the Fed Chair’s speech.

Prices earlier rose to $1,528.50, the highest since Aug. 13, when it had scaled a six-year peak of $1,534.31.

U.S. gold futures were up 1.9% to $1,536.90.

“The fact that he (Powell) said that they (the Fed) will act appropriately to sustain expansion is pretty bullish for gold. The two primary tools they have are quantitative easing (QE) or lower rates – both those tools will cause gold to go higher,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

“The move this morning is just more people buying gold simply with the expectations that interest rates will be lower by year-end.”

Powell said the U.S. economy is in a “favorable place,” but gave few clues about interest rate cuts at its next meeting. However, he listed a series of economic and geopolitical risks the Fed is monitoring, noting these were linked to the trade spat.

“We shouldn’t be surprised if we see the Fed deliver a full percentage point in rate cuts over the next 12 months and a new QE program as we may only need a couple of the following macro events to blow up: trade uncertainties, weakness in China and Germany, Brexit, Hong Kong, and the dissolution of the Italian government,” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

Powell’s speech prompted a backlash from Trump on Twitter, asking whether the Fed Chair was a greater “enemy” than China’s leader Xi Jinping.

Trump also ratcheted up the rhetoric on China, ordering U.S. companies to look at ways to close operations in the country, which sent equities tumbling and drove further inflows into safe-haven gold.

This came after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.

“This means there is no resolution, the escalation continues. Investors are selling the risk and buying gold,” said SP Angel analyst Sergey Raevskiy.

Gold has risen nearly 8% so far this month and about 19% this year, and was set for a fourth straight week of gains.

Elsewhere, silver gained 2.4% to $17.41 an ounce, while platinum was unchanged at $857.28.

Palladium fell 1.8% to $1,460.83 an ounce, but the auto catalyst metal remained on track for a third straight weekly gain of about 0.8%.

CNBC

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Over the course of his career, he has worked with some of the world’s leading forex brokerages and research departments including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including BNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. He is often quoted in leading print and online publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University. Follow Ed on Twitter @edjmoya ‏
Ed Moya