Happy Monday, traders. Welcome to your weekly look ahead at the macroeconomic calendar from the perspective of the gold market. We’ve got a relatively quiet slate over the next five days, but there are still a few potential flash points.
At the time of writing this morning, gold spot prices are trying to hold on to temporary support at $1400/oz after seeing some moderate buying in the Asian session and European morning.
Monday is looking mostly devoid of relevant macroeconomic data or headlines, so expect the yellow metal to trade through today (and possibly Tuesday, depending on FedSpeak) on its own fundamentals and chart technicals, rather than as a reaction to outside events. Through that lens, it’s perhaps not the most inspiring thing to see gold price struggle to hold minimal gains, but on a technical basis the chart is still made up of mostly bullish indicators so that should offer some added support.
Along with the scheduled data releases and public remarks from Fed officials, we’ll be watching this week for any further developments in the trade negotiations that the US and China have agreed to resume.
For now, let’s take a closer look at the week in front of us.
US Economic Data to Watch
FedSpeak This Week
The market focus on the FOMC continues to be as high as any point in, I think, the last couple years. This week, we have a few Fed appearances ahead of the committee minutes’ release on Wednesday, and then several public remarks afterwards. Last week’s banger of a jobs report has injected uncertainty into the market’s expectation for a July rate cut so analysts will be looking to parse any and all communications coming out of the Fed. As usual this list of appearances is not exhaustive, but I’ve tried to include the ones that I feel have some potential for impact.
- Tuesday, July 9 // St. Louis Fed President James Bullard (10:10am EDT); Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic (2pm)
- Wednesday, July 10 // FOMC Chairman Jerome Powell begins semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress; St Louis Fed President Bullard (1:30pm)
- Thursday, July 11 // Atlanta Fed President Bostic (12:15pm); Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (5pm)
Wednesday, July 10 at 2pm EDT // FOMC Meeting Minutes (June)
The FOMC’s June meeting was strongly dovish all across the board, from the language in the statement that the committee would “act as appropriate,” to the 40% of participants in the Staff Economic Projections estimating 50 basis points worth of cuts before the end of 2019. Even so, immediately after the meeting we saw important figures within the FOMC doing what they could to temper the reaction and outlook; the labor market data for June, as I mentioned earlier, also complicated the market’s attempts to predict the Fed’s next move.
In the minutes release on Wednesday, we’ll be looking for the more details from the committee’s discussion and debate about if or when to cut interest rates and also how the FOMC’s preferred metrics like inflation and the labor market may be influencing voters ahead of the next meeting at the end of this month. For gold traders, in the short-term at least, the math is pretty simple: if the minutes reveal a growing consensus within the Fed to cut rates sooner rather than later expect gold to take a leg higher; if, instead, the FOMC as a whole seems on the fence about moving rates at all then we could see a reversal of gold’s recent bull run.
The man himself, Ryan Page, will have a full recap for you once the minutes have been released.
Thursday, July 11 at 8:30am EDT // Inflation Rate (June)
[headline CPI consensus exp.: +1.6% YoY // previous: +1.8%]
[core CPI consensus exp.: +2.0% YoY // prev.: +2.0%]
The majority of analysts anticipate that lower prices at the pump will result in a slight pullback in headline inflation; outside of that, very little is expected to change from last month and the less-volatile core inflation print is expected to be unchanged. That’s not terribly edifying for us in the markets of course, because—assuming the CPI data looks roughly as expected— we won’t have any meaningfully changed data to incorporate in our attempts to divine the Fed’s next move.
If I try to assign any importance for metals and currency values \to how June inflation looks today, it will probably be made obsolete (or at least inaccurate) by Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC minutes. Once the details of the committee’s June discussion are out, we’ll be better able to interpret how inflation data between meetings may (or may not) impact the FOMC’s view of the policy path.
Friday, July 12 at 8:30am EDT // Producer Price Index (June)
[consensus exp.: +0.1% MoM // prev.: +0.1% MoM]
Like it’s consumer price-focused cousin, headline PPI is expected to remain unchanged month-over-month as core producer prices have been solid but lower energy costs will pass-through. And like CPI, our view to how (or if) PPI might influence asset prices like USD or gold won’t be able to materialize effectively until after Wednesday’s FOMC meeting minutes.
And that, traders, is how the week lays out ahead. I wish you lots of luck in the markets over the coming days, and I’ll look forward to seeing you back here on Friday for a recap of the week.