Gold reversed an intraday slide to weekly lows and finally settled with modest daily gains on Thursday, snapping two consecutive days of the losing streak. Spot prices edged down after data released from the US showed that the pace of inflation climbed to a 13-year high in May. In fact, the headline CPI increased 0.6% MoM and accelerated sharply to a 5.0% YoY rate, marking the biggest annual gain since August 2008. Adding to this, the Core CPI (excluding food and energy prices) rose 0.7% MoM and 3.8% YoY, surpassing consensus estimates.
Investors, however, seem aligned with the Fed’s narrative that any spike in inflation is likely to be transitory and that pricing pressures will abate later in the year. This means that the Fed will retain its accommodative monetary policy stance for a longer period and triggered a sharp decline in the US Treasury bond yields. The yield on the benchmark 10-year US government bond dropped to its lowest level since early March, which, in turn, was seen as a key factor that provided a goodish lift to the non-yielding yellow metal.
The spillover effect undermined the US dollar and further acted as a tailwind for dollar-denominated commodities, including gold. The intraday positive move was further supported by the fact that the European Central Bank pledged to maintain a steady flow of stimulus at its monetary policy meeting on Thursday. That said, the underlying bullish sentiment – as depicted by an extended rally in the global equity markets – kept a lid on any runaway rally for the traditional safe-haven XAU/USD. Nevertheless, the precious metal settled near the top end of its daily trading range and held steady near the $1,900 mark through the Asian session on Friday.
Market participants now look forward to the release of the Preliminary Michigan US Consumer Sentiment index for some impetus later during the early North American session. Apart from this, the US bond yields and the broader market risk sentiment might further contribute to produce some trading opportunities on the last day of the week. The key focus, however, will be on the upcoming FOMC meeting on June 15-16, which will play a key role in determining the next leg of a directional move for the commodity.
From a technical perspective, the emergence of some dip-buying near support marked by an ascending trend-line – extending from YTD lows touched in March – favours bullish traders. That said, the lack of follow-through momentum warrants some caution. From current levels, any subsequent move up is likely to confront resistance near the monthly swing highs, around the $1,916-17 zone. Bulls are likely to wait for a sustained strength above the mentioned barrier before positioning for any further appreciating move. The XAU/USD might then aim to test the next relevant hurdle near the $1,951-53 supply zone with some intermediate resistance near the $1,928-30 region.
On the flip side, immediate support is pegged near the $1,887-85 area, below which bearish traders are likely to aim back to challenge the ascending trend-line support, currently near the $1,870 region. A convincing break below will negate prospects for any further gains, instead prompt some aggressive selling and drag the commodity back towards the very important 200-day SMA support, currently near the $1,840 level.