Gold Price Drops Amid Stimulus And Poor Data

The price of gold has declined further amid incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus and poor economic data, which is a bearish sign.

The weakness in the gold market continued last week. As the chart below shows, the London P.M. Fix declined below $1,840 last Friday (the price of the yellow metal later declined even further, i.e., below $1,830).

The downward trend is a bit disturbing given the poor economic data reported last week. First, the jobless claims increased from 784,000 on January 2 to 965,000 on January 9, 2021 , as one can see in the chart below. This increase surpassed market expectations and indicates that there is a long way ahead for a full recovery in the U.S. labor market.

Second, U.S. retail sales declined 0.7 percent in December from the previous month . Importantly, the decrease was larger than the expected 0.1 percent drop. Third, the Empire State Index increased 3.5 percent in January. Although the index grew, it rose at a slower pace than in December and below expectations.

All these economic reports show that the U.S. economy has slowed down, and that we could see more stimulus coming in an effort to stimulate economic growth. Indeed, on Thursday, Jerome Powell excluded any tapering of the quantitative easing in the near future , saying that he “expect[s] that the current pace of purchases will remain appropriate for quite some time”. The recent weak economic data that show slack remaining in the labor market can only reassure the Fed that it should continue providing accommodation and not think about raising interest rates .

Moreover, on Thursday (Jan. 14), Biden unveiled a massive stimulus plan worth $1.9 trillion to support the economy amid the COVID-19 epidemic . The aid package, that would be on top of the $900 billion stimulus adopted by Congress in December, includes $1 trillion in direct checks to Americans, about $440 billion for small businesses particularly strongly hit by the epidemic, and about $415 billion to fight the coronavirus and speed up the distribution of vaccinations.

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