Gold heads for weekly gain despite investors cashing out

Some investors are cashing out gold, for now. (Image courtesy of Wallpaper Flare)

Gold price fell on Friday morning as investors took profits from gains earlier this week, but it is still on track for its third weekly rise this month.

Signs of stability in US consumer sentiment may have contributed to the profit-taking. Friday’s data showed that while the University of Michigan’s final sentiment index dropped to 71.8, higher than the median projection of 68 in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

However, investors could be “looking for anything to take profit,” says Phil Streible, chief market strategist for Blue Line Futures LLC.

“I just don’t see the economic backdrop having any kind of stability at all. I think this might have been someone blowing out and calling it an early weekend.”

“Gold continues to benefit from this big mix of stimulus that was seen from all over the world”

Edward Moya, senior market analyst, OANDA

Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO, also views this as simply “short-term profit-taking,” emphasizing that gold is still holding well near highs as both retail and institutional investors have been “consistently buying” while the outlook for the global economy remains uncertain.

Spot gold fell as much as 1.2% on Friday’s trading after rising 0.8% earlier in the day. It has since settled at $1,719.89/oz as of 1:45 pm EST, on pace for a weekly gain of 2.1%.

Gold futures for June delivery were down 0.7% to $1,734.50/oz on the Comex in New York.

RBC Capital Markets says the real test for gold will come when there is a clearer picture of how the “whatever it takes” economic policies around the world unfold, adding that it would still buy bullion on pullbacks.

The combination of low rates, massive stimulus, and high uncertainty point toward gold allocations rising regardless of whether equity markets improve materially, RBC analysts said in a note.

“Gold continues to benefit from this big mix of stimulus that was seen from all over the world. Also, the expectations are pretty high that we are not near the end of the stimulus (driven) trade and it is only going to intensify in coming months,” says Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker OANDA.

“The one thing that could derail gold’s rally is going to be a vaccine breakthrough for covid-19,” Moya cautioned, though US pharmaceutical company Gilead’s failed drug trial on Thursday may have put a dent on the market’s best hope for an effective short-term treatment.

Christopher Vecchio, senior market analyst at DailyFX.com, echoed a similar sentiment, stating that “fiscal and monetary authorities across the world will continue to need to provide significant stimulus in order to keep the basic economy afloat.”

This would provide a “supportive fundamental bedrock” for precious metals, particularly gold prices, Vecchio added.

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