Good morning, traders; Welcome to our market week preview, where we take a look at the economic data, market news and headlines likely to have the biggest impact the price of gold this week and beyond, as well as market prices for silver, the US Dollar, and other key correlated assets.
Gold prices have weakened slightly from the closing prices at the end of last week and from Sunday evening’s opening bid. Global equities, meanwhile, look to be starting the week on the front foot.
As we move past last Wednesday’s FOMC meeting and the muddy signals around a potential delay to the Fed’s policy path, the biggest item on the week’s calendar is the July Jobs Report due Friday. With the US congress heading towards a summer recess there’s little else in terms of US fiscal or monetary policy that we expect to have an impact on gold prices; But traders dealing with risk-tied assets (like gold) will of course need to keep an eye on developments driven by the continued to resurgence of coronavirus infections via the Delta variant, and the pressure it might potentially put on important sectors of the global economy.
For now, let’s take a look at the rest of the calendar ahead.
US Economic Data to Watch
Monday, August 2 at 10am EDT // ISM Manufacturing PMI (July)
[consensus est.: 60.9 // prev.: 60.6]
The pace of activity and expansion in the US manufacturing sector has held steady at a very healthy, historically high level (60.0 or higher) for basically the whole of 2021. The strong industrial recovery has been a key driver in the overall economic recovery in the US. Analysts and economists will continue tracking PMI performance for early indications of changes in economic activity driven by supply chain issues, commodity costs, and consumer demand; This week, though, the indicator is expected to maintain it’s high level. Gold prices are unlikely to be affected by the Manufacturing PMI performance this week, although a surprising burst well above 60.0 could accelerate the all-around reflation trade in a way that lifts precious metals alongside other commodities.
Wednesday, August 4 at 10am EDT // ISM Services PMI (July)
[consensus est.: 60.5 // prev.: 60.1]
As with its industrial sector counterpart, the measurement of activity in the US’ services sector is expected to remain elevated in July’s data set. Because core parts of the sector were so badly hampered by 2020’s pandemic-driven restrictions, the strong recovery in Services PMI has been much more acute in 2021 as the US reopened and the number may be more likely correct lower in the second half of the year as the initial surge from reopening wears off. Like with Monday’s Manufacturing number, Services PMI is unlikely to directly impact gold prices this week and will instead be a useful data point for adjusting our large 2021 outlook.
Thursday, August 5 at 830am EDT // Initial Jobless Claims
[consensus est.: +382K // prev.: +400K]
Overshadowed by GDP data on Thursday, last week’s jobless claims number recovered lower from an unexpected pop in the week prior; But still remained near recent highs. As long as the retraction continues and the longer-term average of weekly unemployment claims stays below 400k there shouldn’t be any real concern; And, in terms of immediate market reaction, investors’ attention will overlook the weekly data in favor of Friday’s Jobs Report, as usual.
Friday, August 6 at 830am EDT // July Jobs Report
[(NFP) consensus est.: +900K // prev.: +850K]
[(unemployment) consensus est.: 5.7% // prev.: 5.9%]
The easing of pandemic restrictions that has driven such dramatic improvements in service sector activity in the US since the spring is also supporting a rapid pace of labor market recovery: With more than 800,000 new jobs added in June, July’s number is expected to be closer to 1 million as the Non-Farm Payrolls number should get a boost from several factors. Although this would still leave the overall US labor market well short of a “full recovery” to pre-pandemic levels, and therefore well short of the mark that the Fed is targeting before considering a meaningul tightening of monetary policy, we can expect to see a market reaction through the “Fed channel” that could impact gold prices at the end of the week. A strong, as-expected print on the NFP—especially one that shades a bit higher towards 1 million—will inevitably drive some number of investors to react as if the data moves us significantly closer to Fed tightening; If it gains traction, we’ll see the US Dollar moving higher and a drag on cold prices. Conversely (and maybe more tethered to reality,) a disappointing NFP number is likely to increase uncertainty about the Fed taking its first steps towards tapering in the coming months. As we saw following last week’s FOMC meeting, that shift in attitude is largely supportive of gold.
And that’s how the week lays out ahead of us, traders. As always, I wish you all the very best of luck in your markets in the coming days, and I’ll look forward to seeing you all back here on Friday for our market-week wrap up.