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Gold prices closed slightly higher on Friday but ended the week a bit lower than last following a stronger-than-expected jobs report.
"Gold gained on Friday, after briefly seeing its losses intensify, after the March employment report came in at a better-than-expected 196,000 jobs, rebounding from a paltry gain of 33,000 in the prior month. The increase in new jobs beat the 172,000 MarketWatch forecast and the jobless rate was unchanged at 3.8%, around 50-year low.
"But economic fears of economic contraction and exogenous political events, like Britain's troubled attempts to exit from the European Union, an event that could roil markets if it cannot be done in an orderly fashion, has kept any slide in gold in check, market participants said.
"A technical selloff 'will be there if gold does not break $1,305 by Monday,' Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants, told MarketWatch, adding that apart from gains in the U.S. dollar and outflows in gold ETF, 'other factors are bullish in gold.'" ("Gold ends higher and avoids 3-session skid, but notches weekly loss," Mark Decambre, Market Watch, 04/05/19.)
Gold ended the week down $0.60, closing at $1,291.40. Silver ended the week down $0.01, closing at $15.08.
President Trump believes the Fed has slowed the economy but by cutting rates, the economy could take off.
"President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. economy would climb like 'a rocket ship' if the Federal Reserve cut interest rates.
"Commenting after a strong jobs report for March, Trump said the Fed 'really slowed us down' in terms of economic growth, and that 'there's no inflation.'
"'I think they should drop rates and get rid of quantitative tightening,' Trump told reporters, referring to the Fed's policy of selling securities to unwind its balance sheet, a stimulus put in place during the financial crisis. 'You would see a rocket ship. Despite that we're doing very well.'
"White House aides have called for the Fed to cut interests rates by as much as 50 basis points.
"Following the Fed's most recent meeting in March, the central bank decided to maintain interest rates and hold off on any further increases this year. As Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow did on Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted the slowing global economy.
"'We're facing a worldwide slowdown [as] Europe is not doing well,' Kudlow said on Bloomberg TV.
"But unlike the White House, the Fed did not conclude in March that slowing global growth means the bank should begin cutting rates. Trump has been heavily critical of Powell's decisions at the Fed, going as far as to say that "the Fed has gone crazy" with raising rates. Trump has blamed Powell's decision-making for drops in the stock market... for steadily raising rates in 2018..." ("Trump says economy would take off like 'a rocket ship' if Fed cut rates, ending tightening policy," Michael Sheetz, CNBC, 04/05/19.)
Bloomberg analyst sees gold higher, in the $1,400 range.
"The gold market gauge is turning from bear to bull, with the metal most likely heading higher towards $1,400, according to Bloomberg Intelligence (BI).
"Gold will not be stuck around the $1,300 level for much longer, with the market waiting on peak U.S. dollar and more volatility in the equity space to push prices higher, said BI senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone.
"'Stuck close to $1,300 an ounce in 1Q, gold is set to head for resistance at $1,400 instead of continuing to consolidate and revisit $1,200. It's been six years since gold traded above $1,400 vs. just a few months ago when it was below $1,200, yet headwinds are dropping fast, with a lofty dollar the primary remaining holdout,' BI's April report stated.
"Gold's set-up looks similar to that of 2002, when the U.S. dollar peaked and the gold market turned bullish, McGlone pointed out.
"'A peak in the trade-weighted broad dollar should seal a gold recovery, more so than in 2017. Then, stock-market volatility was still declining toward multi-decade lows while rates and yields were on the rise. The opposite conditions are in place now, with a strong dollar the final pillar for gold,' he wrote.
"A more dovish Federal Reserve is also helping gold breach its resistance levels, BI's report added.
"Going from rate hikes to rate cuts could be gold's strength and dollar's unwinding, the strategist stated.
"'If futures are right and rate cuts are next, a peak dollar is likelier, supporting gold and precious metals. The correlation between metals and the dollar is one of the most negative,' McGlone said. 'We expect last year's strong dollar performance to have marked a last gasp for the bull market, and for the greenback to remain near the bottom of 2019 performers, which is primarily supportive of metals.'" ("Gold Is Heading Towards $1,400, Not $1,200- Bloomberg Intelligence," Anna Golubova, 04/02/19.)
No US-China trade deal could send the global economy into recession and a no-deal Brexit is a risk for recession in Europe.
"The global economy is 'highly likely' to fall into a recession if the U.S. and China don't reach a trade deal within three months, according to Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi.
"His prediction was based on current 'extraordinarily fragile' business sentiment that was a result of a protracted tariff fightbetween the two largest economies in the world that started last year. The U.S. and China are now negotiating a deal, with representatives from both countries expected to meet in Washington this week.
"'Business sentiment across the globe is extraordinarily fragile,' the economist told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. He added that a survey conducted by Moody's recently showed that confidence among companies was at its weakest since the end of the financial crisis a decade ago.
"'Businesses are really on edge and I think it's because of this trade war. And if it's not settled in the next couple (to) three months, I think a global recession is highly likely,' said Zandi.
"If talks between the U.S. and China break down and end without a trade deal, that could hurt business sentiment further and lead companies to reduce hiring, he said. When that happens, unemployment would rise, causing consumers to lose faith in the economy, he explained.
"'The difference between an expanding economy and a recessionary one is simply faith - faith that the economy is going to be okay. And if you lose faith, no central banks are going to get that back. That's a recession," said Zandi.
"Adding to risks facing the global economy is the potential that the U.K. would leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.
"On Monday, the British parliament again failed to break a deadlock surrounding the country's departure from the EU. Lawmakers thrice rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal but couldn't find an alternative.
"'If we have a no-deal Brexit ... certainly the U.K. economy and the EU economy will be in recession, and I think the rest of the global economy will be not too far behind. So I think that'll be a real problem as well,' he said.
"Signs of slower growth in several major European economies are already threatening countries globally, noted Frederic Neumann, managing director and co-head of Asian economics research at HSBC. If Brexit pushes Europe into a recession, emerging economies - particularly those in Asia - could get hit through two channels, he said.
"For one, 'Europe would disappear as a big driver of demand for exports,' Neumann told CNBC's "Capital Connection" on Tuesday.
"Secondly, a weaker Europe would lead to a rally in the U.S. dollar as investors seek safer investments, he said. 'A stronger dollar is never good for (emerging markets),' Neumann added." ("Global recession is 'highly likely' if there's no US-China trade deal within months, Moody's warns," Yen Nee Lee, CNBC, 04/02/19.)
Gold has performed well and its long-term potential, especially with the Fed's shift in monetary policy should be focused on.
"'Investors should focus on the fact that during October, during December, when you saw these big drawdowns in risk assets, gold proved its safe-haven status and rallied despite the strength in the U.S. dollar,' said Thomas Holl, director, portfolio manager and member of BlackRock's Natural Resource team, in an interview with Bloomberg Tuesday.
"The comments come as gold has been unable to push above growing resistance at the critical psychological level at $1,300 an ounce...
"However, Holl added that gold has actually done very well considering where prices have come from, rallying from below $1,200 an ounce in August to testing long-term resistance just below $1,350.
"'As an investor with a diversified portfolio, you would have been very pleased with the way gold performed during the fourth quarter,' he said.
"Holl said investors should pay less attention to gold's short-term volatility and instead focus on its long-term potential, particularly after the Federal Reserve signaled a strong dovish shift in its monetary policy.
"'The pivot we've seen from the Fed will be really important in thinking of how gold behaves over the next three, six, 12 months,' he said.
"Although some analysts have said that gold will struggle in a weak inflation environment, Holl said that it's actually a less important factor than what real interest rates are doing. The U.S. has seen a sharp drop in U.S. real interest rates after the Fed signaled that it does not expect to raise interest rates at all this year. The real interest rate for 10-year yields is currently at 58 basis points, down from 96 basis points at the start of the year.
"'Gold typically does well when real interest rates are below 1.5% and especially well when they do negative,' he said.
"'Whilst our base-case on our resource team for the moment would be for one of quite a benign global growth outlook, if there are any external shocks to that... then I think gold would be well positioned to rally as people will seek it out for its safe-haven status,' he said." ("Don't Ignore Gold's Safe-Haven Status- BlackRock's Holl," Neils Christensen, Kitco News, 04/03/19.)