US jobs data a gut check for gold bulls
San Francisco (Aug 7) Gold stumbled last week, after a stronger-than-expected jobs report boosted rate expectations. That has at least one investor rethinking his bullishness on bullion, even as others still have high hopes.
The self-proclaimed "unrepentant gold bull" is now more bearish because of last week's impressive jobs data. The US Department of Labor created 255,000 jobs in July versus expectations of 180,000.
"I am taking a pause. I think gold, certainly right now, is due for a correction; it could come down to $1,300," said Boris Schlossberg, Managing Director of FX Strategy at BK Asset Management on "Power Lunch."
Schlossberg said he did believe for a long time that the Federal Reserve was going to hold off on raising rates "all the way until December at the very earliest." In light of strong non-farm payroll data released Friday, he believes a rate hike could come sooner.
That outcome, Schlossberg added, could send gold down.
"The next big thing is to watch the data set coming out of the U.S. in the next month," said Schlossberg, saying the next batch of figures could drive gold lower in light of low interest rates.
"If it continues to improve, if retail sales next week are going to be strong, I think you have a much stronger case now" to hike rates, he added.
Not so fast
Gold fell nearly 1 percent for the week, its third negative week in the last four.
During Friday's trading, the metal hit a low of $1,340.4, its lowest price since July 29 when it traded as low as $1,335. The metal is still up 26 percent year to date.
Some investors may be more apprehensive about going for gold, but don't get so bearish so fast, another trader said.
"The flow of funds will happen back into gold," said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at Chicago-based RJO Futures, told CNBC last week.
Streible, who says he is "optimistic" on gold, does not see a Fed hike on the horizon, and says the lack of such a hike will surely buoy bullion.
"The Fed can't disconnect itself from the global markets here," he said Friday, a day after the Bank of England cut interest rates. With question marks still hanging over the global economy, many economy watchers think the Fed is unlikely to raise borrowing costs more than once—if at all.