Gold Under Pressure, Looking Set for The Largest Weekly Percentage Loss in Six Months

Gold futures prices struggled for direction on Friday, on track for the largest weekly loss of the year so far. The precious metal has been pressured by a report showing a slowdown in demand for gold released on Thursday and hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve.

Gold futures for June delivery looked set to close the week more than 3 percent lower, the largest weekly percentage loss since the week ended November 11th.

The World Gold Council on Thursday reported that global central bank demand for the precious metal plunged by 27% in the first quarter compared to the same time a year ago. On a yearly basis, global gold investment demand also lost 34% for the quarter.

The U.S. central bank kept its rate unchanged on Wednesday, emphasizing the strength of the labor market. That signaled the Fed might still on track for two more rate increases this year. Following the Federal Reserve’s confidence in the U.S. economy, April’s jobs report was seen to strengthen the possibility of the central bank to hike rates.

Non-farm payrolls showed 211,000 people found new jobs in April, which sent the unemployment rate down to 4.4% from 4.5% recorded in the previous month.

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