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 on 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 this morning have given back most of the gains initially made overnight, but from a base of support at $1750/oz may be positioned to rally this week, given the right stimulus as markets and investors settle the month of September and head into October’s trading.
With a back-loaded, but still relatively light, macroeconomic calendar this week, traders can expect the continued brinksmanship (and other nonsense) in Washington to impact financial markets as all sides face-off on multiple fronts including the necessary negotiation or removal of the Federal “debt ceiling” (which, left alone, will force a government shutdown on October 1,) and the Biden Administration’s ambitious economic agenda. Because there’s no accounting for Congress’ particular brand of idiocy, it’s very tough to project what might come down the pipe this week; but it will be important to stay aware of developments, as they may have a meaningful impact on the US Dollar and gold markets (via Treasury yields.)
For now, let’s take a look at the rest of the calendar ahead.
US Economic Data to Watch
Thursday, September 30 at 830am EDT // Initial Jobless Claims
[consensus est.: +330K // prev.: +351K]
As it stands, the most anticipated set of economic data between now and the Fed’s November meeting—in an effort to affirm the central bank’s plan to begin tapering its asset purchase program—will be the September Jobs Report, due next week. (The October edition won’t be released until two days after the next FOMC meeting.) That attention can be expected to trickle down to the weekly labor market reads that we get from Initial Jobless Claims. Although we have several examples of how a trend one way in weekly claims does not directly imply a similar result in the Non-Farms Payroll number, it can’t be ruled out that investors may be extra-sensitive to surprises here. Spikes in the number could push gold prices higher if it leads investors to question the validity of the Fed’s path; unexpected gaps lower (say, below 200,000) may weaken gold momentum. Last week’s expected correction higher had a little more push to it than expected, so analysts this week are looking for the number to settle back below 350,000.
Friday, October 1 at 830am EDT // PCE Price Index (Aug)
[(core) consensus est.: +3.5% YoY // prev.: +3.62%]
[(headline PCE) consensus est.: +4.2% YoY // prev.: +4.17%]
We’re looking for the Fed’s own measurements of consumer inflation to mostly align with the picture painted by the August CPI data: “core” inflation measurements will show a small-but-meaningful slowdown, while higher prices for energy and (perhaps worryingly) food will have the more volatile headline number sitting a bit higher. With the Fed already giving forward guidance on what would be the first steps to cool inflation—baring emergency measures, November is the earliest chance for the central bank to make changes—there should be very little risk of a big reaction in US Dollar or gold markets to a PCE number that comes in at or (within reason) above expectations. A sharper drop than anticipated could present a headwind for gold prices to end the week, both as a function of judging gold’s value along the projected Fed policy path, as well as the yellow metal’s role as an inflation hedge.
FedSpeak this Week
It feels like it’s been weeks since we had some worthwhile FedSpeak on the schedule to cover here, but last week’s Fed Day reemphasized how sensitive gold prices (among other correlated assets) can be to the process of plotting out the FOMC’s plans. The dance card is a bit crowded over the coming days, but should give investors and observers a few chances to learn more about how key individual participants align with the new forward guidance that has markets poised for tapering to begin in November.
Monday: New York Fed President John Williams (FOMC voter) (12pm EDT); Fed Governor Lael Brainard (FOMC voter) (1250pm)
Tuesday: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans (FOMC voter) (9am); Fed Chair Jerome Powell [testifying before congress with Treasury Sec. Yellen on the CARES Act] (FOMC voter) (10am); Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic (FOMC voter) (3pm); St Louis Fed President James Bullard (non-voter) (7pm)
Wednesday: Fed Chair Powell (1145am); San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly (FOMC voter) (230pm)
Thursday: [Powell & Yellen may be called to appear before a House Financial Services Committee hearing regards the pandemic response on this morning, but a roll of witnesses has not been published just yet.]; New York President Williams (10am); Atlanta President Bostic (11am); Chicago President Evans (1230pm)
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.