Gold prices are starting this week, after a US holiday on Monday, in a classic holding pattern; the yellow metal is trading essentially unchanged from Friday afternoon’s closing prices and the chart has been relatively stable trading in the interim.
The calendar for this week is relatively quiet, aside from a slate of appearances from FOMC officials who will, whenever possible, be pressed to discuss the Fed’s outlook for the next rate hike and the path beyond. From these headlines, we’ll see how the US Dollar, in particular, reacts, as this may be what determines gold’s trajectory. For now it appears to have consolidated near $1840/oz.
For now, let’s take a look at the rest of the calendar ahead.
US Economic Data to Watch
Thursday, June 23 at 830am EDT // Initial Jobless Claims
[consensus est.: +225K // prev.: +229K]
Over the last two weeks, between a key inflation report that came in hotter than expected, and an aggressive move by the Fed that (hopefully) will moderate said inflation but may slow the US economy down into a full recession, it has been tough to gauge if the majority of investors and money managers in Q3 are going to be more focused on the downside risks coming from inflation or slowing growth. Weekly jobless claims are one data point that has been used, in the past, to gauge just how severely the Fed’s monetary tightening is slowing down economic growth; and the number has been steadily creeping back above 200,000 for a few weeks now. With investors more alert, a higher number than anticipated could spook markets into a quick risk-off response which (especially with the low-bass hum of inflation worries) could be a healthy boost for the gold market—but only if the flight to safety isn’t dominated by the US Dollar.
Friday, June 24 at 10 am EDT // Univ. of Michigan Consumer Inflation Exp. (June, final)
[consensus est.: +3.3% YoY // prev.: +3.0%]
We only occasionally highlight the University of Michigan’s monthly Consumer Sentiment reporting, and rarely do we get granular enough to look at a specific component. But the “preliminary report,” which was released just hours after May’s overheated CPI data, showed a surprising uptick in consumers’ expectations for inflation to continue rising over the next 5 and 10 years and played a role in the acceleration of inflation fears among investors which led into last week’s FOMC decision. Before that, though, the reporting also helped drive a sharp rally in gold spot prices. We’re keeping an eye on the release of Michigan’s finalized reporting at the end of this week, because, in a very data-light session, traders would do well to be prepared for a repeat of the same level of acute volatility in gold.
FedSpeak this Week
With the slate of appearances by FOMC officials this week—especially with Chairman Powell’s semi-annual testimony before Congress—there’s little doubt that the topics of interest will be whether or not the FOMC is set to hike by another +0.75% next time around, or if they will be ready to pivot once again.
Wednesday: Fed Chair Jerome Powell (semi-annual Senate testimony) (FOMC voter) (930am EDT); Chicago Fed President Charles Evans (non-voter) (1250pm); Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker (non-voter) & Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin (non-voter) (130pm)
Thursday: Fed Chair Jerome Powell (semi-annual House testimony) (FOMC voter) (10 am)
Friday: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard (FOMC voter) (730am); San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly (non-voter) (4 pm)
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.