China's yuan maintains its stranglehold on gold
Head of Commodity Strategy
The uncertainty surrounding the ongoing trade war between the US and China has been driving the price of gold lower, instead of higher, as would normally be the case in times of heightened geopolitical risk. This is due to the close correlation between gold and the Chinese yuan which has remained firm in recent months. The Chinese government has allowed the Chinese currency to weaken in order to offset the drag on Chinese growth caused by US tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods. Furthermore, mounting signs of a renewed round of monetary easing has also been weighing on the currency. Especially following Monday’s announcement of tax cuts and infrastructure projects and after the PBoC on Wednesday said that a capital requirement for some banks would be eased in order to support lending.
From their recent respective peaks back in April, the yuan is down by 8% while gold has lost 9.3%. Most of the relatively worse performance seen in gold has occurred during the past week as the market prepares for what is expected to be a very strong US Q2 growth number on Friday.
Gold has once again managed to find support ahead of $1,200/oz, an area which has provided support in the past and which represents a 50% retracement of the $329/oz rally seen between December 2015 and July 2016. For this level to hold, however, it is clear that the dollar appreciation needs to pause or reverse, especially against the yuan as highlighted above.
In the week to July 17, gold’s continued slump to a one-year low helped trigger another spate of heavy short-selling by funds. The net-short reached 22,000 lots, just shy of the 24,000 lots record seen in December 2015. Back then this bearish view was reached just before the first US rate hike signalled a low point from where gold rallied strongly. The current gross-short of 132,000 lots has never been seen bigger and it has left gold in a much better position to react to price-friendly news.
First up, however, we have today’s European Central Bank meeting which will be followed by Friday’s US Q2 GDP data. Any surprise from these announcement may cause some short-term volatility but overall, the focus remains firmly on the trade dispute between the US and China and its impact on the yuan.
Latest Market Insights
Outrageous Predictions 2023: The War Economy
- The constantly growing global need for energy drives the world's richest to huddle up and launch a R&D project in a size the world hasn't seen since the Manhattan Project gave the US the first atomic bomb.
French President Macron resignsThe political stalemate in France and the rise of Marie Le Pen following the 2022 elections corners President Macron, forcing him to give up on politics and resign from his position. At least for now.
Gold rockets to USD 3,000 as central banks fail on inflation mandateAs markets and central banks realise that the idea that inflation is transitory is wrong, and that prices will remain higher for longer, gold is sent through the roof, hitting a price tag of USD 3,000
EU Army forces EU down path to full unionWith continued challenges in the region and a US military that isn't aggressively enacting its former role as global policeman, the European Union agrees to create its own armed forces, bringing the whole region closer.
A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030In an effort to become one of the global leaders on the path to net-zero emissions, one country decides to not only put a heavy tax on meat, but to ban domestic production entirely.
UK holds UnBrexit referendumFollowing a recession and domestic pressure, the United Kingdom is thrown into political turmoil that will end with a vote to wind back Brexit.
Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationHistory tells us that with the war economy comes rationing and price controls. And this time is no different, as policymakers introduce strict price controls that lead to a range of unintended consequences.
OPEC+ & Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetSanctions against Russia have caused widespread turmoil due to US Dollar moves in countries across the globe that don't consider the US an ally. To relieve themselves from this, they leave the IMF and create a new reserve asset.
USDJPY fixed to the USD at 200 as Japan overhauls financial systemFollowing the challenges that faced the Japanese Yen in 2022, the Bank of Japan attempts to keep the currency from sliding. Unsuccessful on the long-term, Japan will launch a reset of its entire financial system.
Tax haven ban kills private equityWith the war economy comes an increased focus on national interests and sovereign nations' ability to assert themselves. In that regard, the OECD countries turn their attention on tax havens and pull the big guns out, banning them altogether.