Forex Today: Gold shines, markets look for direction after a successful Q2, ahead of busy start to Q3

Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, July 1:

Markets are mixed after closing the second quarter with the strongest rise since 1998. Upbeat Chinese PMIs are outweighing coronavirus concerns. A busy day features the top-tier US hints toward the Non-Farm Payrolls, the Fed minutes, and more.

Gold ended the second quarter with a blast, jumping above $1,780 to the highest levels since late 2012. The precious metal benefited from end-of-quarter flows and is holding onto the gains.

Chinese Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index beat estimates and scored 51.2, reflecting growth. Alongside Tuesday's release of strong US Consumer Confidence as reported by the Conference Board, economic figures from early June outweigh concerns about coronavirus. 

Daily US COVID-19 cases topped 40,000 once again, and epidemiologist expert Anthony Fauci warned it could reach 100,000. In testimony, the expert warned the situation is not under control. and going in the wrong direction. States continue reclosing or halting the reopening. Texas reported nearly 7,000 cases, a record, increase fatalities, and pressure on its hospitals. 

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, also testified on Capitol Hill, warning that without controlling the disease, the output will not return to pre-pandemic levels. His colleague John Williams from the New York Fed, said there are indicators that states with outbreaks are seeing slower recovery. 

The Fed's meeting minutes from its June decision are due out later on Wednesday. 

See FOMC Minutes Preview: History happens quickly in a pandemic

Battling COVID-19: Efforts for discovering a vaccine continue at full throttle and a potential cure, Gilead's Remdesivir, is also being used at a larger scale in the US and in South Korea. 

Face masks: Additional states and Republican politicians have called for using masks, leaving President Donald Trump as one of the sole holdouts. The incumbent continues trailing challenger Joe Biden by nearly 10% according to additional polling data. Investors fear a Democratic clean sweep.

US data: ADP's private-sector employment report is set to show a rebound of nearly three million jobs in June, setting expectations for the Non-Farm Payrolls report. It is essential to note that the payroll firm printed a loss of positions in May while the official figure showed a leap. Investors want to see if the US economy continues its recovery.

See ADP Employment Change Preview: Positive but a long way to go

The US ISM Manufacturing PMI serves as another hint toward the event, and it is projected to nearly reach 50 – the level separating expansion from contraction. 

See ISM Manufacturing PMI Preview: Will the pandemic thwart a second pending recovery?

EUR/USD is back to its range ahead of final Markit's Manufacturing PMIs for June, with hopes for recovery. The old continent is coping with coronavirus and will begin welcoming visitors from a select group of countries. Americans – essential for the tourism sector – are currently disallowed. 

GBP/USD is trading above 1.23 after a volatile end to the second quarter. Final growth figures for the first quarter disappointed and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's "Build, build, build" speech fell short on details. Final manufacturing PMI is projected to confirm a return to minimal expansion in the sector. Leicester enters its lockdown amid a significant local outbreak. 

AUD/USD is under pressure after Australian Building Approvals plummeted by 16.4% in May, worse than expected. Moreover, the land down under is struggling with a COVID-19 outbreak in the suburbs of Melbourne. 

Oil prices completed an impressive comeback in the second quarter, with WTI kicking off the third one around $40. 

Major cryptocurrencies remain stable with Bitcoin hovering around $9,100. 

See 2020 US Elections: Three reasons why Biden's lead over Trump is far greater than Clinton's in 2016

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