Gold prices lost little vigor on Thursday in their rebound from $1,800 lows as the Biden administration’s plans to aggressively stimulate the U.S. economy with huge spending further weakened the dollar.
Gold for February delivery on New York’s Comex settled Thursday’s official session down just 60 cents, or 0.1%, at 1,865.90. An hour after that, by 2:30 p.m. ET (18:30 GMT), it hovered at $1,870 as the Dollar Index lost more than 300 basis points. The greenback gauge clawed back some ground earlier, triggering light profit-taking in the yellow metal which has tacked on nearly $70 from the weekend’s low of just below $1,804.
Gold’s rebound intensified after President Joe Biden took office on Wednesday, reinforcing his plans to roll out a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.
Incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, at her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, also said the White House intended to go “big” on deficit spending to stimulate the economy, adding that the benefits of recovery outweigh the costs.
Expectations of a runaway rally in gold had been building since Democrats aligned with Biden won control of the Senate earlier this month from rival Republicans, albeit with a razor-thin majority.
Yet, to the bewilderment of gold bulls, it was initially bond yields, the dollar — and even bitcoin — that benefited in the past two weeks from all the talk about the impending U.S. stimulus. Gold itself lost 3.5% in the previous fortnight, despite its standing as a proven hedge against inflation.
Even with the latest pop, there’s no certainty that gold is about to enter a one-way trade as bond yields could rip higher again in a market riding more on irrationality than convention. In Thursday’s trade, yields tied to the benchmark U.S. 10-year bond note was up 1.14% on the day.
“From a technical point of view the daily charts show what could be a downward sloping head and shoulder pattern which could be a bearish indicator to watch out for,” said Eric Scoles at Blueline Futures in Chicago. “I won’t consider this market as being even reasonably bullish until it can close above $1,895. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see gold retest support at $1,800 in the near future.”