And, although the first quarter’s demand data won’t be published by the World Gold Council until mid-May, we do know that demand for physical gold had fallen for four straight quarters as of the fourth quarter of last year. In fact, total gold consumption fell to levels not seen since 2009.
Sure, it’s conceivable that physical buying significantly improved in the first quarter. But it’s not very likely. These strategically-rooted trends simply can’t stop and turn on a dime.
Bottom Line for Gold Prices
Kudos to gold for making the most of Q1′s opportunity, served up first by waning interest rates, and then by a weakening dollar. (The dollar’s dip was the result of several things, ranging from an adjustment to new Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen, the ongoing softness of the labor market, and Russia’s pseudo-invasion of Ukraine, just to name a few).
But, there’s little left in the global ether that could drive those moves again. All the cards have been played, and the present environment is one that should drive 10-year yields to stability somewhere north of 2.6%, while the U.S. Dollar Index holds steady above 79.75. None of that is good for gold prices.
Meanwhile, with inflation still tepid and an unlikely announcement of surprise demand in the cards once the World Gold Council unveils Q1′s reality, the stage is set for gold prices and the SPDR Gold Trust to continue stumbling into — and through — the second quarter.
The bottom line is, gold would do well to even retest the $1354 per ounce level in the second quarter. Though gold prices peaked a tad above that mark in mid-March, the $1354 mark has been a more frequent ceiling since August of last year.
More realistically, the path of least resistance for the price of gold is downward, all the way to the $1180/ounce level where gold found a floor a couple of times last year. The gold bulls should draw a line in the sand there, but if that support level should crack in the least, even just the tiniest slip under that mark could open the selling floodgates.
Whatever the case, tread lightly. As one case see on the weekly chart of gold futures above, the bar from two weeks ago was the second part of a significant engulfing reversal pattern that has followed through quite convincingly.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.