Although analysts expect that gold could have a very volatile closing of the year, the consensus is that the metal is eyeing $1,900 as the next level to breach in the near-term, via Kitco. Market participants are always keeping a watchful eye on the Federal Reserve, so it’s no surprise that questions over the next Fed Chair nominee have caused a bit of tumult.
Some believe that there is a strong chance that Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard could take Powell’s spot after recent dissatisfaction with the incumbent’s actions. A Brainard appointment would result in a major shift in short-term yields, said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya, along with delaying hike expectations even further.
However, Moya noted that a Powell renomination would be far from negative for gold. Risk remains to the upside, and hikes are questionable regardless of who’s helming the central bank. Pepperstone’s head of research Chris Weston said that a new Fed Chair would cause the kind of uncertainty that most market participants dislike, yet that volatility seems to be in the cards regardless. (Update: Powell was renominated to his current position on November 22. His last Senate confirmation won 84 of 100 votes in 2018, so Congressional resistance is extremely unlikely.)
Weston expects an anything-goes December, partially because the U.S. Treasury will exhaust its measures by the middle of the month as the U.S. debt ceiling issue once again comes to the forefront. The central bank’s meeting, which should announce the tapering schedule, could be another stir for the markets.
TD Securities said that gold remains vulnerable to priced-in rate hikes, even in the absence of any evidence that they will materialize. So long as this remains in view, the bank believes that gold could come under further selling, especially if prices fall below the $1,840 level. Moya expects a very volatile week ahead, saying that gold could trade in a range as wide as $1,840-$1,890.
If the metal does dip to $1,840 or below, Standard Chartered precious metal analyst Suki Cooper expects an influx of buyers on every turn due to gold’s fundamental picture. She noted that gold’s headwinds are mostly absent and not of particular consequence. On the other hand, the upside to physical gold ownership is tremendous. Growth risks, elevated inflation, an expected pullback in the U.S. dollar and real yields establishing themselves in negative territory are far more pronounced than anything pushing gold downwards.
However November’s price action plays out, Moya expects investors to start pouring into gold as an inflation hedge next month and push it above the $1,900 level. This could be expedited by both uncertainty coming from Europe or any number of data reports scheduled for this week turning out disappointing.