Precious metals, much like other commodities, kicked off last week with a plunge in prices. As the week progressed, bullion prices remained relatively flat even after the ECB surprised the markets with a rate slash and promise of an ABS program. Moreover, the latest NF payroll report fell short of market expectations, but wasn’t enough to pull up precious metals prices. This week, the main reports from the U.S are the JOLTS monthly update and retail sales. In China, several reports will come out including CPI, new loans and trade balance. So let’s breakdown the economic calendar for the week of September 8th to 12th.
Gold and silver prices dropped by 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively. The recent NF payroll report showed only a 142K gain in jobs – well below the market projections of 222K jobs. But the unemployment rate inched down to 6.1% as number of employed fell, while number of people participating in the labor market rose. The next JOLTS report will complete the picture of the progress in the labor market. If the number of job openings reached 4.67 million – a modest gain from the preceding month. The current projections are for 4.72 million job openings. If this number falls short, this could indicate the labor market isn’t progressing faster and thus may bring back up gold and silver prices.
Besides this report, the retail sales report will also come out and show of any growth in the retail market. This could serve as another indicator for the developments in the U.S market. The current projections are for a 0.2% gain in core retail sales.
Last week, demand for gold as an investment tumbled down as gold hoards in the GLD ETF, which is the world’s biggest gold ETF fell. The current gold holdings are at 785.725 tons by the end of last week – nearly 1.17% below the previous week and down by 2% since early August. If gold hoards keep falling, this could signal the demand for gold as an investment is softening.
The recent decision of ECB to slash again its cash rate dragged down the Euro/USD to below 1.3. Last week, the USD rallied against the Euro and Japanese yen, which seem to have had a modest impact on the prices of bullion. In any case, if the USD continues to strengthen against leading currencies, this could adversely impact gold and silver.
The U.S equities slightly rose as the S&P500 index added 0.2% in the past week. If the stock markets resume their upward trend, this could steer more investors into equities.
The bullion market is likely to slow down in the coming days and the prices could show a modest recovery especially if the upcoming JOLTS reports come short of current projections.