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Conflicting market forces cause gold price volatility

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Written by:
Myrsini Giannouli

12 April 2022
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Gold price spiked early on Monday, climbing to $1,970 per ounce, but pared its gains later in the day, falling back to the $1,940 per ounce level. If the price of gold decreases, support may be found near $1,893 per ounce and further down at 1,877 per ounce, while resistance may be found at around $2,000 per ounce.

The price of gold has been driven by conflicting market forces over the past weeks. On one hand, gold is supported by intensifying tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as by new western sanctions on Russia. On the other hand, the gold price is undermined by increasingly hawkish Fed policy, which boosts the dollar and real yields.

Gold’s safe-haven status supports its price, as reports of violent Russian attacks against Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia drive investors away from riskier assets. The conflict in Ukraine has triggered a risk-aversion sentiment, propelling the price of gold to $2,050 per ounce last month. 

The Biden administration announced new sanctions last week, targeting Russia’s largest financial institutions to increase economic pressure on Russia. The EU also announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian banks, and oligarchs and even banned coal imports with an estimated total worth of €4bn a year. Sanctions against Russia have been driving commodities up, especially energy-related commodities, contributing to rising inflation. The price of gold benefits from rising inflation, since it is often used as an inflation hedge.

Concerns about the state of the economy in China, after the fresh rise of Covid cases and the full lockdown in Shanghai, have also been boosting the price of gold these past couple of weeks. 

The gold price has been weighed down by the rising dollar and strong US yields in the past couple of weeks. Increasingly hawkish Fed rhetoric has been driving USD price up, as market participants scan Fed members’ statements to gain insight into the Fed’s future direction. The dollar has been climbing, with the dollar index rising above the 100 level, as markets are beginning to price in a steep rate hike of 50 base points at the Fed’s next policy meeting in May.

Global bond yields have been on the rise over the past few days, with yields climbing across the US treasury curve. US treasury yields firmed on Monday, with the 10-year treasury yields climbing to 2.78% for the first time since 2019, as investors anticipate a more aggressively hawkish Fed policy. Real yields compete directly with gold, which is a non-interest-bearing asset, and their rise puts pressure on the price of gold.

XAUUSD 1hr chart

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Written by:
Myrsini Giannouli

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