Gold Prices Forecast: XAU/USD Wobbles as Fed Rate Cut Speculations Intensify

January 18, 2024 4:20 PM +07:00 - Rising dollar and Treasury yields pressure gold, as Fed speeches this week shape XAU/USDs short-term outlook.

Xau Usd Chao Dao Do Nhung Don Doan Ve Kha Nang Fed Cat Giam Lai Suat Pipscollector

Key Points

  • Dollar’s rise, Treasury yield surge pressures gold
  • Fed rate cut expectations impact gold’s trajectory
  • ECB’s rate cut stance contrasts market predictions

Gold Prices under Pressure

Gold prices faced downward pressure on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields climbed. Market focus is now on the upcoming remarks from various U.S. Federal Reserve officials, eagerly anticipated for insights on the central bank’s future rate cut strategies.

At 07:31 GMT, Gold (XAU/USD) is trading $2049.535, down $5.230 or -0.25%.

Dollar and Treasury Yields Influence

The dollar index reached a 10-day peak, dampening gold’s appeal to holders of other currencies. Concurrently, yields on U.S. 10-year Treasury notes surged past 4%. The dollar’s strength on Tuesday came as investors weighed the likelihood of imminent and significant rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, in a week heavy with data that could sway the decisions of major central banks.

Fed Rate Cut Speculations

Initially, expectations for early Fed rate cuts were muted, but recent U.S. producer price data showing a surprise drop in December reignited speculation. Current market odds suggest a 70% probability of a 25 basis point cut in March, an uptick from last week’s 63%. Traders now foresee rate reductions totaling 160 basis points this year, an increase from the previous 140 basis points expectation.

Analysts Skeptical of Aggressive Cuts

Despite the market’s aggressive stance, most analysts remain cautious. They argue that the labor market’s robustness and falling inflation might not be sufficient for a rapid return to the 2% target. This skepticism could underpin the dollar if markets reevaluate easing expectations, leading to higher short-term interest rates.

Fed Official Speeches and Market Reactions

Investors are also eagerly awaiting speeches from Federal Reserve officials, including Christopher Waller, known for his dovish stance in late November that sparked a significant market rally. Waller’s speech could impact market predictions for a March rate cut and affect U.S. bond yields and the dollar.

Fed’s Forward Guidance Key to Gold’s Direction

With multiple Fed officials speaking this week, any indication against the anticipated rate cuts could trigger a pullback in gold prices. The Fed is expected to maintain its policy rate in the upcoming January meeting. However, with traders betting on six 25 basis point rate cuts this year, any hint of a delay or reduction in these cuts could influence gold’s trajectory.

ECB’s Stance on Rate Cuts

In Europe, the European Central Bank officials have expressed reluctance to initiate rapid rate cuts, citing persistently high inflation. This stance contrasts market expectations, which anticipate about 145 basis points in ECB rate reductions starting potentially in April.

Short-Term Forecast:  Bearish Due to Rate Cut Uncertainty

Considering the current economic indicators and central bank postures, the short-term forecast for gold remains bearish. The potential for central banks to push back against market expectations of aggressive rate cuts, combined with a robust dollar and increasing Treasury yields, suggests a possible downturn in gold prices.

Technical Analysis

 Xau Usd Pipscollector

The current daily price of Gold (XAU/USD) at 2048.62 exhibits a slight decline from the previous close of 2054.77, indicating a minor bearish sentiment in the short term.

This price sits comfortably above both the 200-day moving average (1963.60) and the 50-day moving average (2017.41), suggesting a prevailing bullish trend over the medium to long term.

The asset is currently navigating between the minor resistance level at 2067.00 and the minor support at 2009.00. Its proximity to the minor resistance hints at potential upward momentum, yet the closeness to minor support underscores a delicate balance in market forces.

The overall market sentiment leans towards bullish, given the price’s position above key moving averages and its nearness to the minor resistance level. However, traders should pay close attention to how traders react to the next test of the 50-day moving average. If it fails to hold then medium-term momentum will shift to the downside.

Quote source: FX Empire

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