Gold price falls sharply as Middle East tensions ease

Source Fxstreet
Apr 22, 2024 11:18
  • Gold price drops as investors see no immediate escalation in Israel-Iran tensions.
  • Fizzling Fed rate cut prospects combined with easing geopolitical fears weigh on Gold.
  • Fed’s Goolsbee said progress in taming inflation has stalled.

Gold price (XAU/USD) dips vertically after failing to recapture the crucial resistance of $2,400 in Monday’s European session, driven by less safe-haven demand as Middle East tensions ease. 

No further escalation in tensions between Iran and Israel has provided some relief to dismal market sentiment. Also, markets are increasingly pricing out the possibility that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will lower interest rates in the June and July meetings, further weighing on Gold. 

10-year US Treasury yields rise to 4.66%. Yields on interest-bearish assets such as US bonds rise on firm prospects that the Fed could be a laggard in pivoting to rate cuts compared with other central banks from developed nations. Higher bond yields, in turn, weigh on non-yielding assets such as Gold as they become a less-attractive alternative to invest in. 

This week, the United States core Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index (PCE) data for March will likely move bond yields and Gold prices.  As the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, PCE data could shift expectations of when the US central bank will start lowering interest rates. According to the CME FedWatch tool, markets currently expect the Fed to make the move at its September meeting. 

Meanwhile, the US Dollar Index (DXY), which tracks the US Dollar’s value against six major currencies, consolidates in a tight range around 106.00. Gold is a dollar-denominated asset, so a firm US Dollar tends to keep its price under control. 

Going forward, investors will focus on the preliminary Q1 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data, which will be published on Thursday. The US economy is estimated to have expanded by 2.5%. Strong growth exhibits robust consumer spending and higher production, which translates into higher price pressures. Higher GDP numbers would allow the Fed to keep interest rates at the current high levels, which will eventually improve the US Dollar’s demand.

Daily digest market movers: Gold price drops sharply as US yields advance

  • Gold price tumbles to $2,360 after refreshing all-time highs near $2,430 as safe-haven demand diminishes. Investors are less worried about further escalation in Middle East tensions. On Friday, Tehran’s air defence said it destroyed a limited drone attack by Israel and confirmed no harm to nuclear facilities in the central region of Isfahan. Iran didn’t announce any plan for an immediate retaliation, so investors see no major escalation in the short term even as tensions between both parties persist. 
  • The precious metal comes under pressure after five weeks of gains as risk sentiment improves. The appeal for Gold has remained buoyant despite fading expectations that the Fed will reduce interest rates in June. Prospects for rate cuts in the June and July meetings have waned after the inflation report for March turned out hotter than expected.
  • The recent inflation data have dented Fed policymakers' confidence in inflation declining to the 2% target, with many of them saying they want to maintain interest rates higher for a longer period. On Friday, Chicago Fed Bank President Austan Goolsbee said: “Given the strength of the labor market and progress on easing inflation seen over a longer arc, I believe the Fed's current restrictive monetary policy is appropriate," Reuters reported.
  • Goolsbee said that hotter-than-expected inflation data for the first three months of the year "can't be dismissed.” He advised the Fed will need to determine if continued strong growth in the economy and job market is a sign of overheating.

Technical Analysis: Gold price fails to reclaim $2,400

Gold price plunges to near $2,360 after retreating from $2,418. A mean-reversion move is anticipated in the yellow metal, which will drag it to the 20-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) at around $2,315. Usually, the asset reverses to the 20-day EMA after a sharp rally. However, the move is generally considered a correction, not a bearish reversal.

On the downside, April 5 low near $2,268 and March 21 high at $2,223 will be major support areas.

The 14-period Relative Strength Index (RSI) cools down to 64.40 after turning extremely overbought. The overall outlook for the asset remains strong if the RSI shifts into the bullish range of 60.00-80.00.

Gold FAQs

Gold has played a key role in human’s history as it has been widely used as a store of value and medium of exchange. Currently, apart from its shine and usage for jewelry, the precious metal is widely seen as a safe-haven asset, meaning that it is considered a good investment during turbulent times. Gold is also widely seen as a hedge against inflation and against depreciating currencies as it doesn’t rely on any specific issuer or government.

Central banks are the biggest Gold holders. In their aim to support their currencies in turbulent times, central banks tend to diversify their reserves and buy Gold to improve the perceived strength of the economy and the currency. High Gold reserves can be a source of trust for a country’s solvency. Central banks added 1,136 tonnes of Gold worth around $70 billion to their reserves in 2022, according to data from the World Gold Council. This is the highest yearly purchase since records began. Central banks from emerging economies such as China, India and Turkey are quickly increasing their Gold reserves.

Gold has an inverse correlation with the US Dollar and US Treasuries, which are both major reserve and safe-haven assets. When the Dollar depreciates, Gold tends to rise, enabling investors and central banks to diversify their assets in turbulent times. Gold is also inversely correlated with risk assets. A rally in the stock market tends to weaken Gold price, while sell-offs in riskier markets tend to favor the precious metal.

The price can move due to a wide range of factors. Geopolitical instability or fears of a deep recession can quickly make Gold price escalate due to its safe-haven status. As a yield-less asset, Gold tends to rise with lower interest rates, while higher cost of money usually weighs down on the yellow metal. Still, most moves depend on how the US Dollar (USD) behaves as the asset is priced in dollars (XAU/USD). A strong Dollar tends to keep the price of Gold controlled, whereas a weaker Dollar is likely to push Gold prices up.


Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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