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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Gold likely to be embraced as a Safe Haven

Gold prices have been steadily on decline since early June when the metal traded just shy of $1,300 an ounce.

This week too gold ended on a negative note even though the week began with a different picture.
Gold prices were lying stable at $1,225.24 per oz on Wednesday morning after a prices rise on Tuesday, closing up 0.2%.

However on Friday, gold dipped $5.60 to $1219.10 in Asia before it bounced back to $1227.00 just after morning’s jobs data was released, but it then fell to a new session low of $1207.30 in late morning New York trade and ended with a loss of 1%.  

Spot gold was down 0.7 percent to $1,215.81 per ounce by 1336 GMT, after touching an intraday low of $1,214.40, the weakest since May 9. It has dropped about 2 percent this week and is set for its biggest weekly fall since the week of May 5.

Gold hit a two-month low on Friday after stronger than expected United States jobs data increased the likelihood of another U.S. interest rate increase.

U.S. hiring picked up in June while wage gains disappointed yet again, a mix that may continue to be a puzzle for the economy and policy makers, Labor Department figures showed Friday.

While payroll gains were broad-based and boosted by the biggest jump in government jobs in almost a year, wages were below forecasts, even with the jobless rate close to the lowest since 2001.

It is quite evident from the unrelenatble hiring in June that thelabout market is resiliebt and may lead to a stronger acceleration in wages. At the same time, the month’s data could also reflect a new graduating class and the summer’s seasonal workers joining the labor force -- some likely welcomed by employers who are struggling to find workers.

The data suggested that the job market is attracting people off the sidelines, as the size of the labor force and number of unemployed people increased, indicating more people are actively looking for work. The number of people who went from out of the labor force to employed rose to 4.7 million, the highest in data going back to 1990.

While wage growth is running below the peak of previous expansions, the figures may be depressed by weak.

U.S. non-farm payrolls jumped by 222,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, beating expectations of a 179,000 gain.          

The data brought negative news for gold traders as there isn’t really anything in this number which is going to put the brakes on an interest rate hike.

Nevertheless, the report marks a relatively strong finish for the labor market in the second quarter that should support continued gains in consumer spending in the coming months. Federal Reserve policy makers raised interest rates last month and reiterated plans to start reducing their balance sheet and increase borrowing costs once more this year.

Recent selling has placed enormous pressure as prices broke through critical support levels.  Much of that selling was a result of a shift in market sentiment as the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank relaxed their respective multiyear quantitative easing programs.

However, markets remain constructive for gold.The bigger picture for gold is encouraging. Despite the U.S. tightening cycle and VIX bear market, gold has recovered. It appears to be looking ahead to a beneficial endgame.

Gold certainly has a way of getting investors’ hopes up. Most recently, it neared $1,300 per ounce in early June, prompting optimism among bulls about a meaningful breakout to come. Alas, gold prices failed to push through that level, and now sit around the $1,250 mark. There are, of course, bullish and bearish arguments to be made but, on balance, gold is currently facing serious headwinds. That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t a long-term bullish case for gold. There is, but it may take years to play out. Simply put, the world is awash in too much debt, be it household, corporate or government.

According to an October 2016 report by the International Monetary Fund, gross global debt (excluding that of the financial sector) stood at $152 trillion, representing an all-time high 225% of world GDP. This overhang risks prolonged economic stagnation, if not a worse outcome. At some point, central banks will be forced to engineer higher inflation rates to lessen the burden of all this debt. Realizing this, investors can be expected to embrace gold as the ultimate safe haven.

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