Gold Tests 'Game Changing' Trend Line Again After Weak US Jobs Data

Fri, Jun 2, 2017 - 9:15am

Gold prices jumped to 5-week highs against a weakening Dollar on Friday, rising to meet the metal's 6-year downtrend – starting from the all-time peak of September 2011 – after new US data said the world's largest economy added fewer jobs than expected in May.

Instead of expanded by 185,000 as analysts forecast, non-farm payrolls expanded by 138,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also revised both March and April's NFP figures sharply lower.

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Average earnings also grew less quickly than analysts predicted in May, while the unemployment rate only fell because the number of working-age people in or seeking work slipped from April's near a 3-year high.

The US trade deficit widened in April to $47.6 billion, separate figures showed.

Jumping over $11 inside 20 minutes, the Dollar gold price then broke $1275 to trade near its downwards trend line – joining the peaks since the metal's high of $1920 – for the fourth time since last June's UK Brexit referendum shock.

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Gold's trend-line resistance "drawn from the all-time high in 2011...is a game-changing level," says analysis from French investment bank Societe Generale, currently putting the downtrend at $1295.

US Treasury yields meantime fell hard as bond prices rose, squashing the 10-year rate towards its lowest since Donald Trump's November victory for the US presidency at 2.18%.

"The market is primed for a June hike," said a note from bullion, FX and commodity market-making bank ICBC Standard's currency strategist Steven Barrow earlier this week, "leaving the Fed feeling almost duty bound to deliver or face a backlash as the market starts to doubt the reliability of the Fed's unofficial guidance.

"But if the Fed really is as data dependent as it would like us to think, the case for delay is just as compelling...especially if the recent slide in inflation does not prove temporary."

"The swing in expectations against US Fed rate rises was a major factor in both gold and silver prices rising in 2016," said Neil Meader of analysts Metals Focus last night, launching the consultancy's newSilver Focus 2017 and forecasting a further rise in silver this year despite a "large and growing surplus" of supply over demand.

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"Institutional investment" remains strong thanks to "political uncertainty", weakness in the Dollar, and – for silver – a growing consensus that the "bear market in industrial metals is ending," Meader said.

Silver jumped faster than gold prices Friday, gaining 1.1% after the US jobs data to recover this week's previous 30-cent loss at .39 per ounce.

Primarily used in catalysts to clean emissions from diesel engines, platinum also rallied but held 2.6% down from last Friday at 5 per ounce.

President Trump announced yesterday that the US is withdrawing from the Paris 'Climate Change' agreement, signed in 2015 by 195 countries and requiring "ambitious efforts to combat climate change" by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, most notably CO2 from gasoline engines.

"We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won't be," Trump told a press conference.

"Car companies are moving ahead of stricter new [European] legislation on emissions... creating demand for us," says Robert MacLeod, CEO of catalyst manufacturer and platinum technology specialists Johnson Matthey, reporting a 19% rise today in pre-tax profits for the year-ending March.

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