Wall St., Main St. expect more gold-price gains in wake of poor U.S. jobs data
The Labor Department reported that April nonfarm payrolls fell 20.5 million, while the unemployment rate soared to 14.7%, the highest level since the early 1930s. Dramatic labor-market was weakness expected based on weekly initial jobless claims over the last several weeks.
“There is a lot of uncertainty if some of these jobs are ever going to come back,” said Sean Lusk, co-director of commercial hedging with Walsh Trading. “Some of them won’t; hopefully most of them will.
“I think it’s just a matter of time before we [gold prices] make a run to at least $1,750...and potentially challenge the high for the year,” he continued, referring to the mid-May peak of $1,788.80 an ounce in the Comex June futures.
Six out of 11 Wall Street voters, or 55%, said they are bullish for the week ahead. Three voters, or 27%, called for lower prices, while two, or 18%, were neutral.
Meanwhile, 750 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. A total of 502 voters, or 67%, looked for gold to rise in the next week. Another 139, or 19%, said lower, while 109, or 15%, were neutral.
In the last survey for the current trading week now winding down, Wall Street and Main Street respondents alike were bullish. Just before 11 a.m. EDT on Friday, Comex June gold was 1.6% higher for the week so far to $1,727.90 an ounce.
Richard Baker, editor of the Eureka Miner’s Report, is among the majority looking for gold to rise some more. He commented that while the the loss of 20.5 million jobs in April was better than the expected 21.5 million loss and there appears to be some lessening in recent U.S.-China tensions, “these are at best incremental improvements to a horrendous situation.” Thus, Friday morning’s rush into "risk-on" assets could just as easily be replaced by a "risk-off" rush to the exits, especially after another bad headline, he said.
“The covid-19 viral infection of global markets has dulled demand for physical gold in China and India, and some central banks have eased on new purchases (e.g., Russia),” Baker said. “This void has been amply filled by investors seeking a safe haven. This makes gold all the more sensitive to moves in the stock markets. Looking forward then, volatility in gold price should be expected to continue. I believe it likely gold will make a run at the $1,750 level next week with silver poking its head above $16 per ounce.”
George Gero, managing director with RBC Wealth Management, said he looks for gold to be up next week after “bad jobs numbers” on Friday.
“We came down within a couple of dollars of my support [around] $1,680 and bounced out of it pretty good,” said Charlie Nedoss, senior market strategist with LaSalle Futures Group. “I think we work higehr next week.”
Jim Wyckoff, senior technical analyst with Kitco, said still remains bullish on the technical charts. “This week’s price action revived the bulls a bit,” he added.
Meanwhile, Daniel Pavilonis, senior commodities broker with RJO Futures, said he looks for a pullback in the near term even though he does not think the longer-term rally is over.
Gold futures have fallen below $1,700 a number of times and popped back above. But each time, the metal is tending to post a lower high, he continued.
“So to me, technically it looks like it’s starting to weaken,” Pavilonis said. “I don’t think the rally is done. Over time, I think it’s going to go higher. But I think it’s going to pause and break down for a little bit.”
Mark Leibovit, publisher of VR Metals/Resource Letter, said he is “leaning more bearish anticipating a near-term correction.” However, he added, he is “more positive” for later in the year.
Phillip Streible, chief market strategist with Blue Line Futures, described himself as neutral at the moment, with gold at a “crossroads.” The metal’s direction will hinge on how certain factors play out.
“If interest rates do go into negative territory, you could see a flight into the gold market,” he said. “Yesterday was alarming with the two-year [yield] reaching those 2011 lows.”
Negative rates could mean a sell-off in the dollar index, he said. This tends to underpin gold due to their frequently inverse relationship.
“However, if [investors] continue to shrug off the terrible situation this economy is in and continue to pile into U.S. equities, then gold futures are going to subdued and most likely stick to that $1,700 area.”