Gold price remains vulnerable on upbeat US job vacancies data

  • Gold price remains under pressure as Fed policymakers see one more interest rate hike this year.
  • A resilient US economy could slow down progress in the inflation battle.
  • After an upbeat US Manufacturing PMI, investors shifted focus to the labor market data.

Gold price (XAU/USD) seeks intermediate support near $1,820.00 despite upbeat US JOLTS Job Openings data. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported employers posted 9.61 million job vacancies in August against expectations of 8.8 million. The broader bias is bearish due to multiple headwinds. Federal Reserve (Fed) policymakers support one more interest rate increase in the remainder of 2023 as a resilient United States economy could slow down the progress against inflation. Apart from that, a strong improvement in the US Manufacturing PMI despite higher interest rates has strengthened the economic outlook.

The US economy has been performing strongly, based on parameters such as labor market conditions and consumer spending. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector has been underperforming. A meaningful recovery in factory activity would strengthen the US economy further and make inflation more stubborn ahead, which would warrant more interest rate hikes from the Fed

Daily Digest Market Movers: Gold price turns volatile after upbeat US Job Openings data

  • Gold price drops to near $1,820.00 after closing in red for six trading sessions in a row.
  • The precious metal is expected to deliver more downside as Federal Reserve policymakers favored more interest rate hikes as the  US manufacturing sector appears to be reviving. 
  • The message from Cleveland Fed Bank President Loretta Mester was ‘loud and clear’ that the Fed is not done with hiking interest rates. Mester said that one more interest rate hike is well-needed this year and that rates are required to remain high for a longer period. Interest rates should remain high for long enough until the central bank assesses the impact of policy-tightening already in place, she said.
  • In addition to Mester, Fed Governor Michelle Bowman projected one more interest rate hike by 25 basis points (bps) to 5.50%-5.75% by the year-end if inflation progress slows.
  • Meanwhile, Fed Governor Michael Barr expressed caution about how long interest rates should be held higher to bring down core inflation to 2%. Barr said that the US economy is resilient and price stability could be achieved without dampening job growth.
  • The US economy is resilient on the grounds of labor market conditions and consumer spending. After the stronger-than-expected PMI data, a recovery in the factory sector is expected to strengthen the US economy further. 
  • On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported an improvement in US factory activity. The Manufacturing PMI jumped to 49.0, much higher than estimates and the former release of 47.7 and 47.6, respectively.
  • Despite the strong improvement, the Manufacturing PMI remained below the 50.0 threshold for the 11th time in a row, suggesting that the sector remains in contraction. The New Orders Index also outperformed expectations, jumping to 49.2 from the August reading of 46.8.
  • A strong order book and upbeat labor market conditions indicate that the Manufacturing PMI could achieve the 50.0 benchmark in the upcoming months. 
  • The optimism for the Manufacturing PMI achieving the 50.0 yardstick is also backed by commentary from Fed chair Jerome Powell after engaging with small business owners in York, Pennsylvania, on Monday. 
  • After listening to concerns about higher inflation interest rates, and persistent labor shortages, Fed Powell assured that inflation would come down to 2% and emphasized the importance of strong labor market conditions.
  • Meanwhile, investors await the Employment Change data for September by Automatic Data Processing (ADP), which is scheduled for Wednesday. As per the estimates, the US economy created 160K jobs against the 177K increase recorded in August.
  • The US Dollar Index (DXY) refreshed 11-month high near 11-month high at 107.20, supported by a hawkish stance from Fed policymakers, upbeat Manufacturing PMI data, and a cautious market mood.

Technical Analysis: Gold price finds interim support near $1,820

Gold price finds buying interest near $1,820.00 after an intense sell-off while the broader bias remains bearish due to multiple headwinds. The precious metal trades near a fresh six-month low and is expected to find support near the crucial support at $1,800.00. A bear cross, represented by the 20-day and 200-day Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs), warrants more downside. Momentum oscillators indicate strength in the bearish impulse.

Fed FAQs

What does the Federal Reserve do, how does it impact the US Dollar?

Monetary policy in the US is shaped by the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed has two mandates: to achieve price stability and foster full employment. Its primary tool to achieve these goals is by adjusting interest rates.
When prices are rising too quickly and inflation is above the Fed’s 2% target, it raises interest rates, increasing borrowing costs throughout the economy. This results in a stronger US Dollar (USD) as it makes the US a more attractive place for international investors to park their money.
When inflation falls below 2% or the Unemployment Rate is too high, the Fed may lower interest rates to encourage borrowing, which weighs on the Greenback.

How often does the Fed hold monetary policy meetings?

The Federal Reserve (Fed) holds eight policy meetings a year, where the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) assesses economic conditions and makes monetary policy decisions.
The FOMC is attended by twelve Fed officials – the seven members of the Board of Governors, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and four of the remaining eleven regional Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis.

What is Quantitative Easing (QE) and how does it impact USD?

In extreme situations, the Federal Reserve may resort to a policy named Quantitative Easing (QE). QE is the process by which the Fed substantially increases the flow of credit in a stuck financial system.
It is a non-standard policy measure used during crises or when inflation is extremely low. It was the Fed’s weapon of choice during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. It involves the Fed printing more Dollars and using them to buy high grade bonds from financial institutions. QE usually weakens the US Dollar.

What is Quantitative Tightening (QT) and how does it impact the US Dollar?

Quantitative tightening (QT) is the reverse process of QE, whereby the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds from financial institutions and does not reinvest the principal from the bonds it holds maturing, to purchase new bonds. It is usually positive for the value of the US Dollar.

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