Gold climbs to record close as yields tumble
* USD continues lower in thin trading to levels last seen in July
* Gold closes at all-time record high above $2071
* Stocks mixed as investors lack any catalysts
* Crude oil pulled back after advancing over 10% since mid-December
FX: USD broke down again on the back of new five-month lows in Treasury yields. The 10-year fell below 3.80% having traded near 5% in late October. Markets are now pricing in around a 90% chance of a 25bps March rate cut. The DXY dropped below 101 to levels last seen in July. Next support is the February low at 100.82.
EUR pushed up above 1.11 for the first time since July. The ECB’s higher for longer bias from most officials since the recent meeting is boosting the single currency. Nest upside target is 1.1149 ahead of the y-t-d top from July at 1.1275.
GBP moved higher, trying to break to new cycle highs above the recent top at 1.2794. The June top is at 1.2848.
USD/JPY sold off from the 200-day SMA below 142. Markets are looking for the BoJ to end NIRP after the summary of opinions at the bank’s December meeting showed that some policymakers were calling for a deeper debate on a future exit from massive stimulus.
AUD is closing in on the summer highs around 0.69. The aussie is just about in the green year-to-date versus the dollar. USD/CAD is finding support around 1.32.
Stocks: US equities tread water after a failed attempt at a new record high a day ago. The S&P 500 added 0.14% to settle at 4,781. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 finished 0.17% higher at 16,906. The Dow led gains, up 0.30% at 37,656.All three indices are on course for monthly, quarterly, and annual gains. Hitting a new record close in the S&P 500 would confirm a bull market in the benchmark index. This comes after the bear market closing bottom in October.
Asian futures trade mixed. Japanese shares jumped on Wednesday helped by a softer yen and Wall Street continued its winning streak. Hong Kong shares rebounded as the market reopened. Gaming firms rallied after regulators vowed to make improvements to proposed rules which had seen prices plunge.
Chart of the Day – Gold hits the heights
It was one of those classic trading days without an obvious catalyst, which saw a safe haven bid amid light volumes during a holiday period. The CHF and Treasury bonds were bought strongly meaning yields plunged. The swissy had its second biggest gain of the year outside of Fed/ECB days. That saw USD/CHF drop to its lowest since the SNB intervention in January 2015.
While stocks were quiet, the dollar fell which helped gold to a new record closing high. The metal is on track for its best annual percentage gain since 2020. The spike high for gold bugs to aim at is $2148 from December 4. That intraday Asian session top was brief as the precious metal closed much lower. It’s taken most of the month to recover from that swoon. But broad USD softness, dovish central banks andfalling yields, plus a seasonal tailwind have closed the gap. Big resistance sits around $2070 where gold has struggled to stay above, going back to 2020.