Gold Edges Higher as May Heads to EU Summit

Gold has posted slight gains in the Thursday session. In North American trade, spot gold trading at $1248.63 per ounce. In economic news,  US unemployment claims rose to 241 thousand, matching the forecast. On Friday, the US publishes New Home Sales.

The Federal Reserve has surprised the markets with its hawkish stance, as underscored by last week’s rate statement. The statement mentioned that the Fed plans to reduce its balance sheet later in 2017, although it did not provide further specifics. The balance sheet has ballooned to $4.5 trillion, which accumulated after the 2008 financial crisis, when the Fed went on a bond-buying spree to stimulate the economy. The reduction will be gradual, but still marks an important change in direction for the central bank. On Wednesday, FOMC member Patrick Harker said that he was in favor of the reduction commencing in September. The Fed has hinted at one more rate hike in the second half of 2017, and the markets have circled December as the most likely date for a rate move. The CME Group has pegged the odds of a September hike at just 13%, compared to 18% a week ago. However, the odds for a December increase are at 49%, and this could increase if Fed policymakers continue to wax positive about the economy.

Although gold prices have struggled recently, the growing uncertainty over Brexit has prevented gold from falling even lower. It’s been a rough few weeks for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who gambled by calling an election earlier this month and squandered her majority in parliament. May is trying to cobble together so her political situation remains precarious. May will attend an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, and will brief the Europeans on how Britain plans to treat EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. It will be interesting to see the reception she receives from the European leaders. There is plenty of bad blood between the parties, and the players on both sides will need to control their egos and tempers in order to keep the divorce process amicable. Formal negotiations between the UK and the EU began this week, and both sides agreed that the first round of talks was held in a constructive atmosphere. However, if the negotiations fall apart, the repercussions could send shock waves in the markets, and gold could be the big winner.

May Faces EU Leaders as Negotiations Begin

Thursday (June 22)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 241K. Actual 241K
  • 9:00 US HPI. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.7%
  • 10:00 US FOMC Member Jerome Powell Speaks
  • 10:00 US CB Leading Index. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.3%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 55B. Actual 61B

*All release times are EDT

*Key events are in bold

XAU/USD for Thursday, June 22, 2017

XAU/USD June 22 at 13:20 EST

Open: 1246.52 High: 1255.08 Low: 1245.89 Close: 1248.63

XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1170 1199 1232 1260 1285 1307
  • XAU/USD edged higher in the Asian session. In European trade, the pair posted small gains but then retracted. XAU/USD has edged lower in North American trade
  • 1232 is providing support
  • 1260 is the next resistance line
  • 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 continues to show gains in long positions. Currently, long positions have a majority (69%), indicative of XAU/USD continuing to climb to higher levels. 

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental and macroeconomic analysis, Kenny Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in major online financial publications including, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.