GOLD PRICES were flat Monday morning in London and then dropped sharply in the afternoon to $1328 per ounce ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium which starts tomorrow, writes Atsuko Whitehouse at BullionVault.
Markets are awaiting Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday for clues whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates this year.
Silver also retreated to $18.66 per ounce adding to Monday's 2% drop.
Silver ETFs had their highest daily inflow since the beginning of July on Monday of 103 tonnes, setting a new record high of 20,690 tons according to Commerzbank.
Holding in the gold ETFs tracked by Bloomberg were topped up by 55 tonnes in July as Switzerland had exported 80 tonnes of gold in July to the United Kingdom where a number of gold ETFs store their gold.
The United Kingdom was the biggest recipient of Swiss gold for a fifth straight month. Switzerland exported a total of 192 tonnes of gold in July, the largest volume since December according to data published Tuesday by the Swiss Federal Customs Administration,
Oil prices fell Wednesday morning on an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stocks yesterday after gaining this week on new reports that Iran might be willing to participate in an OPEC-led production cap.
Asian Shares were mixed with the Nikkei Stock Average rising 0.61% on the back of weaker yen due to the US Dollar broad strength. The South Korean Kospi was down 0.30%, HK Hang Seng down 0.77% and Shanghai SSE composite also down 0.12%.
European shares rose this morning with the FTSE250 up 0.27%, Dax up 0.56%, CAC 40 up 0.73% and IBEX up 0.81%. The FTSE100 on the other hand fell 0.10% after the news that British miner, Glencore, reported a falling underlying profit and a lowering of its debt target.
The Dollar index edged 0.1% higher to 94.63 as the market eagerly awaits Janet Yellen’s speech this Friday at Jackson Hole.
Expectation of a rate hike has been building according to the FedWatch Tool. The probability of a rate rise in September 2016 has risen 21% up from the previous figure of 15%. Last week this figure was 9%.
Barclays economist Michael Gapen said “Yellen could use her Jackson Hole speech to deliver a concrete message that a rate hike will happen in the coming months if U.S. job growth stays strong. Otherwise, investors will keep doubting future rate increases.” Reuters reported.
"They question whether she will ever see data that will justify a rate hike," continued Gapen, "I think she herself has a credibility problem with markets."
Michael Woodford, a Columbia University economist however, stated to Bloomberg “I expect that she would want to preserve the option of moving in September without giving any very definite signal that they are ready to do it.” Mr Woodford’s 2012 paper at Jackson Hole helped to persuade the Fed to use more explicit forward guidance on interest rates.
As for major economic data today, US Existing Home Sales will be released at 14:00 GMT. Yesterday’s US New Home Sale beat expectations and was the highest level since 2008. US stocks closed near record highs as the housing data help boost stocks.