What’s next? – GOLD 23.03.18
Gold prices were higher in Asian hours on Friday, with market players preparing for a fresh batch of economic releases later in the day, while the US dollar remains on the spotlight.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures were up 0.87 percent at $1.338.90 a troy ounce as of 06:30 GMT.
The yellow metal moved away from two-week highs as the American currency recovered some positions after bouncing in the way of a widely expected interest rate hike on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the US Federal Reserve increased its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a range between 1.50 percent and 1.75 percent.
The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was trading 0.24 percent lower at 89.16 by the time of this writing.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced tariffs on nearly $50 billion worth of Chinese exports invoking Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. The Trump administration considers China is violating multiple terms on US intellectual property.
Investors are concerned that the decision would increase tension between the world’s two biggest economies and potentially derivate in a massive trade war.
Meanwhile, BNP Paribas said it continues to expect a fourth interest rate hike this year.
“With the median dot holding at three hikes for this year by the tiniest of margin, for us the balance of risk is clearly weighted towards the FOMC bringing forward its rate path expectations,” wrote BNP Paribas.
On the data front, initial jobless claims rose to 229,000 from an estimated 225,000. Preliminary readings on manufacturing and services PMIs came below expectations at 55.7 and 54.1.
Ahead in the session, durable goods orders for February will be out at 12:30 GMT. New home sales for February are expected to be published at 14:00 GMT.