Gold is holding steady after Friday’s big gains. Asian and European markets confirmed the $1243 level overnight. The dollar is holding just above unchanged, even though the British pound has been pummeled on Brexit fears. Nymex oil futures are up more than 2% in morning trading, while Brent is gaining 1.8%.
Gold’s first hurdle today is the $1,246 mark. Conquering that, the next goal is taking the $1,251 level. First support is $1,241, followed by $1,233.
Friday’s non-farm payroll report was the worst in years, showing only 38,000 new jobs were created last month. Economists has expected over 100,000 more new jobs. Not only that, 458,000 people gave up trying to find a job, leaving the pool of potential new hires. Over 60% of those giving up on finding a job were adult males over 25 years of age, without a high school diploma. More than half that number were males 55 and over, and most were white, showing how the recovery is leaving tradesmen behind.
The disastrous payroll report reverberated throughout the markets, mauling bank stocks on the assumption that both June and July are off the table for the next Fed rate hike. Stocks tried to reverse initial heavy losses, but still ended the day in the red.
The dollar was hit by the payrolls report and news that the US service sector saw an unexplained drop as well. The greenback ended the week at a three-week low against a basket of currencies.
Oil futures logged a weekly loss after the weekly Baker Hughes rig count climbed by nine oil rigs last week. This is the largest one-week gain since December 18th 2015.
As can be expected with the abysmal payroll report and tanking dollar, gold had a very good Friday. August gold futures gained $30.30 (+2.5%) to settle at $1242.90. This was paper gold’s best day since March 17th. Spot gold jumped $33.10 (+2.73%) to end the week at $1243.50, near the daily high of $1245.40.
The big market-moving event today will be Fed leader Janet Yellen’s speech at 12:30 EDT in Philadelphia on “Economic Outlook and Monetary policy.” While the market believes that there is only a 6% chance of a rate hike in June, and a 37% chance in July (thanks to Fed regional presidents talking up a summer hike,) it is uncertain if Yellen will acknowledge the weakness of the economy, or maintain that a rate hike is still imminent.
Today is the last day before a self-imposed blackout at the Fed before the FOMC meeting. Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren during a trip to Finland today said that there was no reason not to wait and see if Friday’s payroll report was an anomaly or not. Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart said this morning that he was not supportive of a June rate hike due to Friday’s payroll report and Brexit fears, but was keeping an open mind regarding February.
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