Gold Price Forecast: XAU/USD edges lower below $2,400, PBoC refrains from gold purchases for second month

July 8, 2024 2:04 am

  • Gold price edges lower to $2,385 in Monday’s early Asian session. 
  • US Nonfarm Payrolls increased by 206K in June versus 218K prior, above the expectation of 190K.
  • The Chinese central bank refrained from gold purchases for a second month, dragging the yellow metal price lower. 

Gold price (XAU/USD) attracts some sellers near $2,385, snapping the three-day winning streak during the early Asian trading hours on Monday. The downtick of the yellow metal is backed by the modest rebound of the Greenback and the Chinese central bank paused Gold buying for the second month. However, the safe-haven flows amid the political uncertainty might lift the precious metal. 

US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) employment increased by 206K in June, above the expectation of 190K. The growth was lower than the previous reading of 218K, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) on Friday. Meanwhile, the Unemployment rate ticked up from 4.0% in May to 4.1% in June. Finally, Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% MoM in June, matching expectations. 

The market is currently pricing in a 77% odds of a September rate cut by the US Federal Reserve (Fed), up from 70% last Friday, according to the CME FedWatch tool. Furthermore, the FOMC minutes showed that policymakers acknowledged that price pressures were easing, triggering the expectation of Fed rate cuts this year, which might drag the Greenback lower and lift the USD-denominated Gold. 

Additionally, the political uncertainty in Europe, particularly in France, and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East might boost the safe-haven flows, benefiting precious metals. According to the Economist, exit polls suggested that the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) seems to be on track to win the most seats in the second voting round of French parliamentary elections on Sunday. Investors are concerned about uncertainty as the final round of the French parliamentary elections pointed to a hung parliament.

Elsewhere, data from China over the weekend showed that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) refrained from gold purchases for a second month. “It appears that gold prices remain a little too high and the PBOC is waiting for a further pullback before resuming its gold purchasing programme,” said Nitesh Shah, a commodity strategist at WisdomTree. It’s worth noting that China is the world’s biggest billion consumer and the pause in gold buying could weigh on the Gold price. 

Gold FAQs

Gold has played a key role in human’s history as it has been widely used as a store of value and medium of exchange. Currently, apart from its shine and usage for jewelry, the precious metal is widely seen as a safe-haven asset, meaning that it is considered a good investment during turbulent times. Gold is also widely seen as a hedge against inflation and against depreciating currencies as it doesn’t rely on any specific issuer or government.

Central banks are the biggest Gold holders. In their aim to support their currencies in turbulent times, central banks tend to diversify their reserves and buy Gold to improve the perceived strength of the economy and the currency. High Gold reserves can be a source of trust for a country’s solvency. Central banks added 1,136 tonnes of Gold worth around $70 billion to their reserves in 2022, according to data from the World Gold Council. This is the highest yearly purchase since records began. Central banks from emerging economies such as China, India and Turkey are quickly increasing their Gold reserves.

Gold has an inverse correlation with the US Dollar and US Treasuries, which are both major reserve and safe-haven assets. When the Dollar depreciates, Gold tends to rise, enabling investors and central banks to diversify their assets in turbulent times. Gold is also inversely correlated with risk assets. A rally in the stock market tends to weaken Gold price, while sell-offs in riskier markets tend to favor the precious metal.

The price can move due to a wide range of factors. Geopolitical instability or fears of a deep recession can quickly make Gold price escalate due to its safe-haven status. As a yield-less asset, Gold tends to rise with lower interest rates, while higher cost of money usually weighs down on the yellow metal. Still, most moves depend on how the US Dollar (USD) behaves as the asset is priced in dollars (XAU/USD). A strong Dollar tends to keep the price of Gold controlled, whereas a weaker Dollar is likely to push Gold prices up.

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