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, having endured some choppy waves during Friday’s lightly attended and brief market hours, are kicking off the final week of 2021 with an effort to consolidate a sturdy base camp above $1805/oz.
It is a bit unusual to have a full five days of trading to close out the year as we do today; What’s not out of the ordinary is the very sparse list of notable data releases and the (presumably) thin trade volumes. As always, anticipate a quiet New Year’s week, but be aware that any unexpected shocks could create more volatility than usual.
For now, let’s take a look at the rest of the calendar ahead.
US Economic Data to Watch
Thursday, December 30 at 830am EST // Initial Jobless Claims
[consensus est.: +205K* // prev.: +205K]
*I wasn’t able to confirm that this “estimate” was derived from the usual survey taking, and not just coverage teams plugging last week’s data in as a projection because most US market participants were off for holiday at the end of last week.
The strength and progress of the US labor market recovery, as we’ve touched on a handful of times since December’s FOMC meeting, looks likely to be one of the key macro data sets at the start of 2022 for projecting the Fed’s policy path in the new year and, as a direct result, projecting positive or negative pressures for gold prices. (The stronger the pace of the labor market appears, the more encouraged the FOMC will (be presumed to) be to move faster from ending the tapper to beginning rate hikes; This should be a generally negative trend for gold, although we’ve seen some weirdness around this relationship recently.) With large parts of the financial markets on holiday (in the UK & Europe) or on autopilot (in the US) this week, we’re not expecting any big movements in reaction to the sparse economic calendar; But certainly investors and analysts will be keeping an eye on the weekly claims data to confirm an optimistic baseline around 200K/week going into January. As of now, the data is pointing towards more labor market tightening in Q1 of 2022, with even the 4-week average falling close to 200,000.
Thursday, December 30 at 945am EST // Chicago PMI (Dec)
[consensus est.: 62.2 // prev.: 61.8]
We don’t usually call out Chicago’s regional PMI survey; Again, it’s a pretty quiet week on the news and data front as usual. Aside from weekly jobless claims data, this is the only other release with much of a possibility to draw the eyes of investors or traders. We suspect observers will be watching most PMI data points in the coming weeks as a first line of judgement regarding whether the US economy—the manufacturing and productions sector in particular—will feel any kind of pinch or slowdown resulting from the Covid 19 resurgence that is dominating headlines. As it stands, Chicago has reported robust business expansion well above 50.0 since mid-spring, and analysts are expecting the Midwest data set to continue on that path through the close of 2021.
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.