Gold prices face mild selling pressure after Tuesday’s three month high in the wake of today’s report on the US manufacturing and services purchasing managers index (PMI) which showed stronger-than-expected growth this month.
- Flash U.S. Composite Output Index at 54.8 (53.9 in September). 3-month high.
- Flash U.S. Services Business Activity Index at 54.7 (53.5 in September). 2-month high.
- Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI at 55.9 (55.6 in September). 5-month high.
- Flash U.S. Manufacturing Output Index at 55.2 (55.8 in September). 2-month low.
The Manufacturing PMI rose from September’s 55.6 to 55.9 in October, running contrary to expectations from leading economists that a decline would occur bringing the PMI down to 55.5.
The service sector PMI was projected to rise from 53.5 to 54.1 but also defied expectations by rising to 54.7 this October, with 50 points in a monthly reading indicating growth and under 50 points indicating the reverse.
Economist and Sector Sentiment
The report from IHS Markit noted a three month high in positive sentiment amid the manufacturing sector and a two month high for the same in the service sector.
IHS Markit’s chief business economist Chris Williamson stated that hurricane season had been a major factor in last month’s economic decline, a sentiment echoed in the recent report on home sales. Williamson went on to state that the resilience of the domestic economy in the face of economic concerns regarding the ongoing trade battles between the US and other nations lends credence to the belief that the Fed will go through with another rate hike before 2019 as planned, saying:
“The flash PMI surveys indicate that the pace of economic growth gained momentum again in October after having been subdued mainly by adverse weather in September. The headline PMI is running at a level broadly consistent with the economy growing at an annualized rate of 2.5%, boding well for another robust quarter of growth.”
The report confirmed that businesses are indeed concerned over the trade wars, with common complaints about higher costs and pressure placed on supply chains due to increased trade tariffs. The concern is being felt in Europe as well with the flash Eurozone manufacturing PMI hitting a 26 month low and the flash services PMI hitting a 24 month low.
IHS Markit’s Chris Williamson said:
“The survey will make for uncomfortable reading at the ECB. Although the survey’s price gauges remain elevated and close to seven-year highs, the headline PMI has fallen to a level that would historically be consistent with a bias towards loosening monetary policy in order to prevent any further deterioration of economic growth.”
However, the report also noted that domestic demand is a primary growth factor for both the manufacturing and services industry.
“The domestic economy remained the main driver of demand, with exports stagnating amid growing signs of trade being subdued by tariffs.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a -0.52% response on early Wednesday, and gold prices have been relatively unaffected, briefly dropping below $1,230/oz on Wednesday before picking back up and now trading at $1,230 once again.
December Comex Futures are down a very modest 0.29% and trading at $1,233.20.