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 are higher this morning after an up-and-down run of overnight trading, and are attempting to put some distance between the yellow metal and support at $1900/oz. Silver spot prices have traded back above $24/oz.
The primary market story this week is, without a doubt, the hospitalization of the US President who is currently battling a coronavirus infection. This situation has a lot of very serious possible implications for not only the US Presidential election in less than a month’s time, but also for the legitimate governance of the most powerful country in the world for the immediate present. These are issues that this column is really not prepared to discuss with enough education or detail, but in trading gold or any other risk-sensitive asset this week I will say that we’ll have to pay particular attention to headlines this week and try not to rely too much on past correlations. The unprecedented nature of the current situation means that we cannot rightly assume that gold (or other markets) will react to common data points in a common way.
As for what we can see in front of us, US stock markets are beginning the session with a solid step forward just as Asian and European markets made gains. There’s clearly some optimism there; though weather it’s hope that the acute health crisis in the White House will compel the US congress to push through a stimulus bill, the market support for the odds of particular election outcome, or something else entirely, we can’t say just yet. Precious metals prices are clearly benefiting—I would assume thanks largely to a highly uncertain outlook pared with gold prices looking extremely cheap relative to the summer—and that could easily continue through the start of the week.
US Economic Data to Watch
Monday, October 5 at 10am EDT // ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (Sep)
[consensus exp.: 56.1 // prev.: 56.9]
Last week’s PMI update for the US manufacturing sector came in above 50.0 (signaling and expansions) for another consecutive month, but was slightly lower than the month prior; According to a majority of the economists and observers surveyed, that’s likely to be the case for the services sector read this week. PMI data last week was enveloped in a lot of other headlines and failed to make a marked impact on our charts. As I mentioned at the open, that looks likely to be the case of all of this week’s light data calendar as investors and managers focus most on developments around the health of Donald Trump and his re-election campaign.
Wednesday, October 7 at 2pm EDT // FOMC Discussion Minutes
September’s FOMC meeting unfolded more or less as anticipated, with no headline changes to current monetary policy and an imprinting of the changes to the Fed’s inflation-targeting that Chairman Powell announced this summer at Jackson Hole. In this week’s release of that meeting’s minutes, we’ll be looking for any added color around what didn’t happen in September: Was there any specific discussion about scheduling-out the pace of asset purchases by the central bank? And how close are we to getting concrete forward guidance from the FOMC?
Under the new framework for the Fed’s pursuit of inflation, you, me, and everyone we know can safely assume that tightened monetary policy will not be coming for—baring all but the virtually impossible—the next year or more. That said, while there’s very little that the FOMC minutes this week are likely to reveal that could have a direct, material impact on the price of gold, there is always some degree of knee-jerk trading in equity markets around FedSpeak at this level. It’s best to be aware of when the minutes will be out; if in this weird week ahead the major equity benchmarks are sitting on any significant levels of support or resistance there’s always the possibility of a run or drop that could change the overall attitude of markets towards risk.
Thursday, October 8 at 830am EDT // Initial Jobless Claims
[consensus exp.: +820k // prev.: +837k]
Economists got to finally take a breath in when last week’s initial claims number declined, and they’re looking for another (middling) drop this week. That the pace of unemployment claims is dropping overall but not with much velocity is becoming a concern for the US labor market and broader economy, especially after the letdown of last Friday’s September Jobs Report. Based on recent performance for gold as well as the US Dollar, I would say that any uncertainty that continues to come out of the high-frequency jobless numbers is supportive of both as key safe-haven investments; but I can’t stress enough how the unknown of this week in particular—at least from the viewpoint of Monday morning—has the potential to make any comparison to recent weeks moot.
FedSpeak this Week
The public calendar for FOMC officials starts to get pared down a bit this week, which seems appropriate given the release of September’s meeting notes on Wednesday. Going off of last week as an example, we’ll expect to see key officials continue their call for fast and strong stimulus from the fiscal side of the equation. Chairman Powell’s public comments always draw attention for the markets, and I’ll be interested to see if there’s anything new from New York Chairman Williams given that his remarks and discussion will come after the Fed’s meeting minutes are made public.
Monday: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans (non-voter) (1045a EDT)
Tuesday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (FOMC voter) (1040a EDT); Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan (FOMC voter) (4p EDT)
Wednesday: New York Fed President John Williams (FOMC voter) (3p EDT); Chicago Fed President Evans (430p EDT)
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.