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XAU/USD consolidates near multi-month tops, FOMC minutes awaited


19 May 2021

Gold's price tends to rise when the real yields of US government bonds fall and vice versa. In the view of economists at Capital Economics, the real yields of long-dated Treasuries are set to rise, subsequently, XAU/USD should retreat during the remainder of this year.

“While the recent rebound in the price of gold may owe something to greater demand for safe havens in response to faltering equity prices, as well as to cryptocurrencies coming under pressure, most of it can probably be explained by a marked pull-back in the real yields of long-dated Treasuries after their surge earlier this year. We doubt the pull-back will last, though, and are sticking to our forecast that the price of gold will end 2021 at $1,600/oz.”

Gold remained confined in a range for the second straight day and consolidated its recent strong gains to the highest level since late January. A modest uptick in the US Treasury bond yields was seen as a key factor that capped the upside for the non-yielding yellow metal and led to subdued price action around the $1,870 region. Investors also seemed reluctant to place any aggressive bets amid slightly overbought conditions and preferred to wait for Wednesday's release of the FOMC meeting minutes.

That said, a combination of factors helped limit the downside. The US dollar refreshed multi-month lows amid growing market conviction that the Fed will keep interest rates low for a longer period. This was seen as a key factor that extended some support to the dollar-denominated commodity. Apart from this, a generally softer risk tone also acted as a tailwind for traditional safe-haven assets, including gold. Nevertheless, the bias remains tilted in favour of bullish traders, though it will be prudent to wait for some follow-through buying before positioning for any further appreciating move.

Amid overbought conditions on the daily time frame, Gold price has stalled its uptrend, as investors turn cautious before placing any fresh bets. Market participants also remain unnerved ahead of the much-awaited FOMC April meeting’s minutes due later this Wednesday, as growing inflation concerns continue to drive the sentiment around gold price. Meanwhile, the latest bounce in the US dollar amid a downbeat mood limits the gains in gold, with the buyers failing to find a strong foothold above $1870 once again. Gold is currently trading at $1868, marginally lower on the day. Gold price hit a new three-month high of $1874 a day before.

Meanwhile, US Treasury yields have stalled. The 10-year yield on Tuesday was ending the North American session down by 0.72% falling from a high of 1.657% to a low of 1.627%. Several Fed policymakers slated to speak this week at the same time that the Fed is due to release the minutes from its April policy meeting on Wednesday, all of which will be parsed for any signs of a shift in its economic outlook.

The easing of measures to contain the pandemic have lifted higher-risk assets and counterintuitively, precious metals as well, as the greenback, melts away, giving was to higher beta currencies, such as the Aussie, that stand to benefit most from economic revival.

With investors sounding the alarm over inflation, institutional interest in the precious metals complex is likely to continue rising following months of outflows, analysts at TD Securities argued.

TD Securities expects this period of high inflation to prove transitory, but there remains a substantial amount of uncertainty surrounding the path for inflation.

''Nonetheless, gold is also underperforming against periods of high inflation, which fuels our conviction for upside risks in the yellow metal,'' the analysts said.

As for positioning,  money managers ultimately increased their net length. The US jobs market recently disappointed in the Nonfarm payrolls print and analysts at TD Securities argued that this catalyzed a round of algorithmic short-covering, helping prices to break out north of the $1800/oz range. ''At the same time, we've noted that the composition of gold flows is changing, highlighting that discretionary capital could once again be flowing into gold.''

Gold (XAU/USD) reverses the early Asian session gains, stays around the late January high tested the previous day, while easing to $1,869 as markets in Tokyo open for Wednesday. Although S&P 500 Futures weigh on gold prices, with 0.30% intraday losses by the press time, broad US dollar weakness keeps the commodity buyers hopeful.

Behind the gold’s latest moves could be fears of the Indian variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the cautious sentiment ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes. Also, mixed sentiment concerning the Fed’s next move amid relfation fears add to gold traders’ confusion. Hence, gold bulls need upbeat FOMC minutes and trade-positive sentiment to keep the recent gains.

#source

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