Gold – Steady Ahead of Employment Numbers
London (Feb 3) Gold prices are steady on Tuesday, as the metal is trading at a spot price of $1282.55. On the release front, today’s highlight is Factory Orders. The markets are bracing for a sharp decline of 1.8%.
With the new Greek government looking to renegotiate its debt, Greece and its international creditors will have to reach some accommodation over Greece’s EUR 320 billion bailout program. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has offered an olive branch to Athens, saying he is willing to scrap the troika mission, which represents the European Commission, ECB and the IMF and governs the bailout. However, he ruled out writing off any part of Greece’s debt. The new Greek government has stated it wishes to remain in the Eurozone but does not want to accept more bailout funds under the present agreement. Germany, which essentially calls the shots with regard to the bailout, has taken a hard line as it doesn’t want the Greek situation to set a precedent for other Eurozone members who have received bailouts. It is early going in this newest Greek saga, and the plot is sure to thicken.
US Advance GDP for Q4 disappointed, posting a gain of 2.6%. The markets had anticipated a gain of 3.0%. Still, market sentiment towards the US economy remains positive, underscored by the Federal Reserve statement last week, where the Fed noted solid growth in the economy. The Fed remains on track to raise rates later in 2015, and the dollar will likely benefit as speculation continues over the timing of a rate hike.
The Federal Reserve reiterated in its policy statement on Wednesday that it would be “patient” regarding the timeline for a raise in interest rates, which have been close to zero since 2008. However, the Fed also noted that the US economy was expanding at a “solid pace” thanks to the robust labor market. This vote of confidence pushed gold prices to lower levels. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates sometime during the year, so the Fed rate watch is sure to continue as the markets look for clues as to when the Fed will make a move.