2011-07-01

Gold prices remain mired in a trading range

The gold price held steady at $1499.85 per ounce Friday morning after news that jobless claims in the U.S. rose yet again in the most recent week. The price of Gold stabilized as data showed that applications for unemployment benefits rose to 428,000, an indication that the jobs market continues to remain weak. The challenging labor market has been one of the key reasons the U.S. Federal Reserve is holding interest rates near zero – a policy that has provided a tailwind for the gold price.

Gold prices remain mired in a trading range as investors weigh the negative impact on the Goldl of the end of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing. Yesterday, June 30, is the official end of QE2, a $600 billion asset purchase program designed to keep interest rates low and stimulate the economy.

Looking ahead, several market strategists see the gold price consolidating during the summer, prior to another leg higher in the fall. Barclays Capital analyst Yingxi Yu wrote in a note to clients that “There are still reasons to buy gold, but just not any new reason for now. Market participants are generally positive on gold, but it is a question whether now is the right time to enter the market given the volatility in risky assets such as equities and oil in particular.”

HSBC analyst James Steel commented that “The gold market may not have dropped enough to invite substantial emerging market and safe haven buying to emerge. Longer term, we remain bullish. The strength of the CHF (Swiss Franc) shows there is still plenty of nervous safe haven buying that could easily shift into gold.”

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