Gold continues to have a quiet week. In the North American session, the spot price for one ounce is $1204.65. On the release front, US PPI dipped to 0.3%, above the estimate of 0.1%. We could see some movement from gold on Wednesday, as the US publishes CPI and retail sales reports. As well, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise the benchmark rate to 0.75 percent.
With the markets expecting a quarter-point rate hike on Wednesday, will gold react negatively to a Fed move? Although a rate hike has been priced in by the markets at 93%, there have been disappointments in the past, so a rate move could boost the dollar at the expense of gold. Strong US employment numbers in February have reinforced market speculation that the Fed will raise rates for the first time this year. Nonfarm payrolls sparkled in February, as the indicator jumped to 235 thousand, easily beating the estimate of 196 thousand. Wage growth climbed 2.6% compared to February 2016, while the participation rate edged up to 63.0%, up from 62.9%. These solid job numbers have also provided President Trump with a much-needed boost. Trump is under pressure to present an economic agenda, but the markets won’t mind giving him some additional breathing room, with the economy performing so well.