Posted 10th May 2024

Gold Price News: Gold Rises After US Jobless Figures

Gold prices rose on Thursday, taking support from US data which strengthened the call for interest rate cuts.

Prices rose as high as $2,338 an ounce on Thursday, compared with around $2,310 an ounce in late deals on Wednesday.

US initial jobless claims figures released Thursday came in at 231,000 in the week to May 4th, well above market expectations of 210,000. A higher-than-expected rise in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits strengthens the call on the US Fed to slash interest rates to stimulate the economy.

Recent bets among interest rate traders have begun to coalesce around September as the most likely start for US interest rate cuts, with a majority expecting no change to monetary policy at upcoming meetings in June and July.

Lower interest rates tend to support gold prices because they weaken the US dollar, making gold cheaper for buyers in other currencies, as well as reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-yield-bearing assets.

Elsewhere, the World Gold Council issued a report Wednesday that highlighted a number of factors behind the new all-time high prices seen in April:

Gold Market Commentary: Higher-for-longer: Inflation not growth | World Gold Council

The industry group cited a positive flip in North American gold ETF flows which combined with strong Asian ETFs. Moreover, increased geopolitical risk, positioning in the Shanghai futures exchange and strong central bank buying all contributed to the higher prices in March and April, it said.

Looking ahead, the markets will be watching out for several speeches by US Fed officials on Friday for clues on the central bank’s view on the outlook for interest rates, especially in light of the recent surprise rise in jobless claims numbers.

Frank’s experience covering the commodities markets spans 22 years, with a particular specialism in metals, carbon and energy markets. He has worked as a senior editor for S&P Global Commodity Insights (formerly Platts) and before this, at ICIS-LOR, a part of Reed Business Information (Reed Elsevier), where he covered the petrochemicals markets from 2003 to 2005.

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