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Gold exhibits extreme gains as traders digest the complex events of March

Commentaries & Views

Gold as a haven asset has been the recipient of the financial uncertainty that has unfolded this month. Gold futures hit a low of $1814 on March 8 and traded to its highest yearly value on Monday when April futures traded to an intraday high of $2015. Although gold pricing wasn't able to sustain attempts to close above $2000 it remains solidly within reach.

As of 5:22 PM EST, the most active April contract is fixed at $1981 after factoring in a decline today of $14.90 or 0.75%. Gold traded to an intraday high of $2006.50 and a low of $1977.70. The demand for gold-based investments has magnified intensely resulting in a $200 range from the lows of March 8 to the highs witnessed this week.

Even with one week remaining in March 2023, this month has been pivotal in terms of the major events that have unfolded. These events will most certainly shape the direction and strength of the financial markets throughout this year.

Not since 2008 have we seen a global banking crisis of this magnitude. In the space of 10 short days, we saw the collapse of multiple United States banks including Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank of New York, and Silverton. In addition, Chairman Powell mentioned up to six banks that could require assistance to remain solvent at the FOMC press conference this week.

America's top banks ponied up a $30 billion rescue deal over a 10-day period in conjunction with the steps by the US treasury, the FDIC, and the US Federal Reserve to attempt to cauterize the economic calamity in the banking system in hopes that these recent failures will not lead to a contagion of more banks. However, we don't know if the steps taken by government entities and private sector banks will be enough to contain the damage.

Concurrently, the world watched as Switzerland's second-largest bank, Credit Suisse collapsed and was acquired by UBS. The acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS allowed the collapsed bank to mirror the more flexible hybrid work model of USB which embraces the theme of adapting and innovating to remain current to meet the diversified needs of its clients and employees.

This week the Federal Reserve concluded its March FOMC meeting and as expected raised its terminal rate by ¼%. What was unexpected was a defined timeline before the Federal Reserve concluded the aggressive rate hikes. While Chairman Powell stated that they most likely will raise rates one more time by ¼% in May, and the rate implemented by the Fed will likely be held with no rate cuts this year. The chairman emphatically stated that "rate cuts are not in our base case" during the Q&A section of his press conference.

Collectively the global bank failures and the possibility of contagion and a pronounced change in the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve in which we are closer to the end of rate hikes have been the defining forces that moved gold prices roughly $200 higher this month.

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Wishing you as always good trading,

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