Gold News

Gold Bullion 'In Demand' as Dollar Slips, Fed Minutes Due, Madrid Faces Down Catalan Leader

GOLD BULLION held flat against a falling US Dollar on Wednesday, trading at $1290 per ounce as Madrid delayed taking control of breakaway Spanish region Catalonia after the governor in Barcelona delayed a formal proclamation of independence.
 
New Japanese data showed strong growth in orders for both machinery and machine tools.
 
Major government bond prices edged down with global stock markets, nudging borrowing costs higher.
 
"We expect that geopolitical tensions will remain an important theme for 2018," says a new gold outlook from French investment and bullion bank Natixis.
 
"But the effect on precious metals will be limited...[and] we see a world in which nominal rates rise but inflation is relatively flat, leading to rising real rates.
 
"We also expect for the Fed to raise rates twice and for the ECB to start executing its plans towards normalisation."
 
Dollar gold bullion prices tend to move inversely to the level of US interest rates after accounting for inflation in the cost of living.
 
Notes from the Fed's most recent policy meeting are due out later on Wednesday. Latest official US inflation and retail sales data are due this Friday.
 
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Betting on US Fed rates after September 2018's policy meeting now shows a 41.2% forecast for a total of 3 hikes between now and this time next year, almost twice its level of four weeks ago on the CME's FedWatch tool.
 
Chart of current and recent betting on US Fed Sept' 2018 target rate. Source: CME
 
"Yes," says a note from Australian bank Macquarie, "the Fed will have to raise rates – growth remains higher than trend – but this is becoming true elsewhere.
 
"[So] we think the Dollar is more likely to weaken than strengthen [and] we remain skeptical the US administration can restore US economic outperformance."
 
After New York equities meantime closed near last week's fresh all-time highs overnight, Asian and European shares slipped further on Wednesday.
 
Spain's Ibex 35 index bucked the trend, rising another 1.3% following Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont proclaiming but "suspending" independence for the north-eastern region.
 
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy today asked Puigdemont to confirm or deny whether his speech on Tuesday was in fact a declaration of independence, threatening to invoke Article 155 of the national constitution and taking all regional powers back to Madrid.
 
Spanish opposition leader Pedro Sánchez of the socialist PSOE said today he would support Rajoy moving on Article 155.
 
Spain's benchmark 10-year bond yields retreated from a 1-week high above 1.70%, holding just 0.1 percentage point higher for 2017 to date.
 
"[This] somewhat calmer situation may prove only temporary," says a commodities note from Germany's Commerzbank.
 
"We believe that gold should therefore remain in good demand."
 
Gold bullion priced in the Euro currency retreated 0.6% on Wednesday from yesterday's 2-week high at €1096 per ounce.
 
Sterling gold prices meantime held flat for the week so far at £977 per ounce after UK chancellor Philip Hammond said he won't spend money on planning for a "no deal" Brexit from the European Union until nearer the March 2019 deadline for negotiations to end.

Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the world-leading physical gold, silver and platinum market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and he has now been researching and writing daily analysis of precious metals and the wider financial markets for over 20 years. A frequent guest on BBC radio and television, Adrian is regularly quoted by the Financial Times, MarketWatch and many other respected news outlets, and his views from inside the bullion market have been sought by the Economist magazine, CNBC, Bloomberg, Germany's Handelsblatt and FAZ, plus Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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