• Gold price hits a four-day low as the US Dollar strengthens.
  • US wage growth slows as workers become more reluctant to switch jobs frequently.
  • Hopes for a soft landing are boosted as the US Unemployment Rate rose sharply to 3.8%.

Gold price (XAU/USD) extends its downward trend as the US Dollar remains resilient due to bearish market sentiment and steady employment growth in the US. The yellow metal faces pressure as the Federal Reserve (Fed) will likely keep interest rates higher for a longer period. The appeal for the US Dollar improves significantly as the US economy is expected to avoid a recession due to easing inflation and a stable job market.

US wage growth slowed in August as employees appear to be sticking to their current jobs due to declining confidence in the job market. After last week’s data pointed to stable job growth, slower wage growth, and broadly steady factory activity investors shifted their focus to the ISM Services PMI for August, which will be released on Wednesday. The PMI is expected to be broadly steady at 52.6 as demand for services remains resilient.

Daily Digest Market Movers: Gold price drops as yields recover

  • Gold price corrects below the five-day consolidation formed in a range between $1,939 and $1,945 even though the broader bias remains positive as investors hope that the Federal Reserve is done hiking interest rates.
  • According to the CME Group FedWatch Tool, there is a 60% chance that interest rates will remain unchanged at 5.25%-5.50% by year-end.
  • The precious metal remains sideways due to holiday-thinned trade. US markets were closed on Monday on account of Labor Day.
  • Hopes for the Fed’s soft landing were boosted on Friday as data showed that the US Unemployment Rate rose sharply to 3.8% and wage growth slowed in August, which adds to signs of a cooling labor market.
  • Recent data suggests that US workers avoid switching jobs as frequently as in recent months, a sign of less confidence in the labor market. Still, Wage growth remains higher for those employees who switch jobs than for those who stay.
  • Slower wage growth, and thus lower money for disposal, would slow down consumer spending momentum and ease more heat from sticky inflation.
  • The US Dollar Index (DXY) hits a three-month high above 104.50. The USD looks supported by still strong labor market data in August, offsetting the fact that the Manufacturing PMI remained below the 50.0 threshold for a tenth straight month.
  • In spite of significantly easing hawkish Fed bets, the US Dollar remains resilient as fears of a recession in the US economy have receded.
  • Analysts at Goldman Sachs see a 15% chance that the US economy will slide into a recession as inflation cools down and job growth remains solid. Earlier, expectations of a recession in the US economy were at 20%.
  • Cleveland Fed Bank President Loretta Mester said on Friday that demand and supply in the labor market is coming into a better balance but the job market is still strong. She further added that while job growth has slowed and job openings are down, the Unemployment Rate is low.
  • Factory Orders data for July will remain in focus. Orders are seen contracting by 0.1% on month. In June, new orders expanded by 2.3%. The manufacturing ISM data showed last week that firms cut spending on inventory build-up and focused on improving margins.
  • This week, the major focus will be on the ISM Services PMI for August, which will be published on Wednesday. The PMI is expected to be broadly steady at 52.6.
  • Investors expect that the Fed will keep interest rates steady in September but the US central bank is likely to keep the doors open for further policy tightening. Investors remain mixed about whether the Fed will discuss rate cuts.

Technical Analysis: Gold price skids to $1,930

Gold price refreshes a four-day low after a breakdown of the consolidation formed in a range of $1,939-$1,945 as the US Dollar Index extends its upside trend. The precious metal falls to near the 50-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) at $1,932.00.  Still, it remains above the 20-day EMA, which indicates that the short-term trend is bullish.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) struggles to climb into the bullish range of 60.00-80.00. If the index does reach these levels,  it will activate the bullish impulse.

Fed FAQs

Monetary policy in the US is shaped by the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed has two mandates: to achieve price stability and foster full employment. Its primary tool to achieve these goals is by adjusting interest rates.
When prices are rising too quickly and inflation is above the Fed’s 2% target, it raises interest rates, increasing borrowing costs throughout the economy. This results in a stronger US Dollar (USD) as it makes the US a more attractive place for international investors to park their money.
When inflation falls below 2% or the Unemployment Rate is too high, the Fed may lower interest rates to encourage borrowing, which weighs on the Greenback.

The Federal Reserve (Fed) holds eight policy meetings a year, where the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) assesses economic conditions and makes monetary policy decisions.
The FOMC is attended by twelve Fed officials – the seven members of the Board of Governors, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and four of the remaining eleven regional Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis.

In extreme situations, the Federal Reserve may resort to a policy named Quantitative Easing (QE). QE is the process by which the Fed substantially increases the flow of credit in a stuck financial system.
It is a non-standard policy measure used during crises or when inflation is extremely low. It was the Fed’s weapon of choice during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. It involves the Fed printing more Dollars and using them to buy high grade bonds from financial institutions. QE usually weakens the US Dollar.

Quantitative tightening (QT) is the reverse process of QE, whereby the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds from financial institutions and does not reinvest the principal from the bonds it holds maturing, to purchase new bonds. It is usually positive for the value of the US Dollar.

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