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Thursday, 1 April 2021

Covid has become avid

Recently we have seen gold coming under pressure. Even officials from the US government and central bank anticipate the economy to post a swift recovery, boosted by strong COVID-19 vaccine rollout programs and multiple rounds of fiscal stimulus. 

Top gold dealers all over India agree that there is optimism in the markets about improved economic outlook. This positivity is further supported by an improvement in consumer spending, which in turn would hike up inflation – one of the main reasons that have been strengthening US Treasury yields.

On March 29, gold and silver plunged again amid strength in the dollar index. Both the precious metals settled on a weaker note in the international markets. Gold made a swift move to $1744 from its base of $1728 last week on Thursday evening but later the pressure of rising USD Index towards 93 killed all the gains. Now the 10y and 30y finds key barrier of 1.65 and 2.40 respectively.

The dollar index gained again and traded at four and a half months highs and inched closer towards the 93-mark, pushing the yellow metal lower. Strength in the dollar index triggered selling in both the precious metals.

Gold extended its biggest fall in more than three weeks as President Joe Biden prepared to unveil big spending plans after announcing major progress on rolling out vaccines. Biden said 90% of U.S. adults will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines by April 19, boosting risk appetites even as they linger around new strains of the virus. The president will also this week unveil major plans to reboot the U.S. economy and boost employment.

Analysts at RiddiSiddhi Bullions Limited suggested that gold is heading for its first quarterly decline since 2018 as a budding global recovery reduces the safe-haven’s appeal. A stronger-than-expected dollar and increasing bond rates have also pulled bullion down from its record high in August last year.

In a speech on Wednesday, Biden is expected to focus on infrastructure as his administration aims to reshape the post-pandemic U.S. economy and government

The US also recorded a jobless claims figure of 684,000 for the week before last – the first reading below 700,000 since the pandemic sparked mass layoffs last year. This further boosted the dollar in one of its better recent weeks.

In another busy week for FX markets, the US dollar benefitted from its ‘safe haven’ status amid crises in Turkey and on the Suez Canal.

Last week started with news that Turkey’s President Recap Erdogan had sacked the country’s Central Bank governor Naci Agdal for raising interest rates to check inflation and to support the Turkish lira. He was the third Central Bank chief to be sacked since 2019.

The removal of Agdal from office led to “risk-off” dollar buying as the value of the lira against the dollar fell by approximately 12%.

Furthermore, the MV Ever Given has caught up attention all over in the media – a 400-metre, 200,000-tonne cargo ship that got stuck across the Suez Canal. 

With roughly 250 ships stacked on either side of the blockage and a reported $15bn worth of goods on board, there were worries that disrupted trade flows could disrupt international recoveries from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analysts have also forecast further bearishness in sight for the precious metal on the back of rising hopes for global economic recovery. However, gold prices are likely to enjoy some support from the latest wave of the pandemic that has sent parts of Europe back into lockdown mode even as emerging markets like Brazil and India are also reporting a spike in fresh infections confirmed a spokesperson from RSBL.

Experts say the yellow metal could remain volatile amid strength in the dollar index and a rise in the US bond yields could weigh on the precious metal

The monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls report will be closely watched at the end of this week, with Federal Reserve policymakers so far citing slack in the labor market for their continued lower-for-longer stance on interest rates.

“In a week when the market is feeling so optimistic about the forthcoming payrolls release, it seems very likely that the greenback will find strong support.

Further strength in the dollar index could push gold prices below $1,700 per troy ounce this week. We expect precious metals to remain volatile this week.

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