Gold Prices At Risk As Crude Oil Benefits From Surprise OPEC+ Output Hold

Over the past 24 hours, anti-fiat gold prices extended what has been the dominant downtrend since August. The non-yielding precious metal has been struggling to compete with the US Dollar and rising longer-term Treasury rates as of late. This was further cemented by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who continued to underscore the case that the central bank doesn’t appear too particularly worried about rising nominal yields.

Despite broad-based risk aversion, which took the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite over 2% lower on Thursday, growth-linked WTI crude oil prices surged 4.85%. The likely catalyst was a decision by OPEC+ to keep output unchanged in April. Markets were anticipating production to increase by 500k barrels per day. Further boosting WTI was Saudi Arabia’s unexpected decision to maintain voluntary output cuts.

Heading into the remaining 24 hours, both gold and crude oil prices are extending their recent performance and may very well continue to do so as the week wraps up. Although, if risk aversion does continue, then it could sap some of the upside potential from WTI as it benefits from OPEC+ developments. APAC equity markets were largely trading in the red on Friday.

All eyes are on February’s US non-farm payrolls report. Taking a look at the Citi Economic Surprise Index, data out of the country has been tending to outperform relative to economists’ expectations as of late. A particularly strong showing from average hourly earnings, which can be used as a gauge of inflation, may add fuel to the rise in longer-term Treasury yields, denting XAU/USD.

Gold Technical Analysis

Gold prices confirmed a break under the 78.6% Fibonacci extension at 1715, bringing the 1658 – 1678 support zone from last year closer into focus – see chart below. A bounce could unfold around this zone, placing the focus on a falling trendline from the end of December.

Gold Daily Chart

(Click on image to enlarge)

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