Gold prices expected to maintain upward momentum
(Kitco News) - Gold has enormous upward momentum at the moment, and that left participants in the weekly Kitco gold survey overwhelmingly expecting prices to keep rising next week due to the combination of chart-based momentum and ongoing worries about the coronavirus outbreak.
The metal soared to a seven-year high on Friday, fueled by the continued spread of the virus around the world and prompting worries this will dent economic growth. Some observers also cited expectations for continuing soft monetary policy in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Early this week, many participants in a range of markets took the "ostrich approach" – sticking their head in the sand and not worrying about the outbreak, said Charles Nedoss, senior market strategist with LaSalle Futures Group. But as the week wound down, risk sentiment was dinged and gold took off.
"It seems like it [the virus] is getting worse," Nedoss said. "It showed up in Korea and Japan. You're hearing more talk of it hitting the economy – obviously travel and tourism."
A major technology company – Apple Inc. – this week issued a warning that sales will fall short of its forecast for the current quarter since the virus has weakened both production and demand in China.
April gold generated technical follow-through this week when the metal broke above the previous high for the year of $1,619.60 hit back on Jan. 8, when the worry was that the U.S. and Iran might go to war.
"We've got a trend going," said John Weyer, co-director of commercial hedging with Walsh Trading. "I don't see anything that's going to stop it."
Of course, a contrarian would say when expectations in any market are this one-sided, all of the potential near-term buying or selling may have already occurred, meaning the market could end up going the other way.
Fifteen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Fourteen, or 93%, called for gold to rise. Only one voter, or 7%, called for prices to fall, while nobody was neutral.
Meanwhile, 1,121 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. A total of 820 voters, or 73%, looked for gold to rise in the next week. Another 192, or 17%, said lower, while 109, or 10%, were neutral.
In last week's survey for the trading week now winding down, 65% of Wall Street and Main Street voters were bullish. Just before 11 a.m. EST, Comex April gold was up by $59.40, or 3.7%, for the week so far to $1,645.80 an ounce.
"I am bullish for next week," said Kevin Grady, president of Phoenix Futures and Options LLC. "Gold's rally is quite impressive, especially in the face of a surging U.S. dollar. The coronavirus statistics coming out of China are getting worse. Until we start to see the tide turn, gold should hold a bid."
Phil Flynn, senior market analyst with at Price Futures Group, commented that gold is in "breakout mode," thus, he sees more gains ahead.
"Gold has gotten a boost because China continues to take measures to stimulate the economy and shield it from the coronavirus," Flynn said. "Also, the doomsday-buying effect is also in play as the coronavirus is causing some real fear and conspiracy theories."
Afshin Nabavi, head of trading with MKS, said gold is now poised to run higher toward $1,650 and $1,675. However, he added, "a bit of correction to the downside would be healthy" for the gold market.
Richard Baker, editor of the Eureka Miner's Report, said gold likely "will march inexorably towards $1,800" since "we haven't seen the worst from the coronavirus." He listed a target of $1,680 for Comex gold next week.
"As gold hits seven-year highs, it is interesting to note the Japanese yen has weakened to levels not seen since April 2019," Baker said. "Coronavirus cases in Japan have essentially removed its currency from safe-haven status….As a consequence, the lustrous metal and U.S. Treasurys have become the global safe-haven of choice as 10-year yields approach the September lows of last year during the U.S.-China trade negotiation brouhaha."
Jim Wyckoff, senior technical analyst with Kitco, said the gold market's technical posture "turned more bullish this week" and the coronavirus impact on global economy "is perceived to be getting worse."
Adrian Day, chairman and chief executive officer of Adrian Day Asset Management, also said higher.
"It's not only concern about [the] coronavirus, but investors are increasingly looking for some insurance, including against a volatile stock market," he said.