A broad buoyant sentiment pushed the precious metal to fresh 13-month highs by Friday morning. Yesterday the bullion's selloff was successfully limited by the February uptrend below 1,240, and later moderately hawkish remarks by the ECB President Draghi resulted in a surge above 1,270. For now we see the weekly R1 as the first reliable resistance for the remaining 24 hours of this week's trading, with monthly R1 at 1,295 acting as the second supply level. As daily and weekly technical indicators are mostly bullish, we assume that gradual price increases will stay in place.
The ECB announced a significant package to ease monetary policy as updated staff macroeconomic forecasts showed that the inflation outlook had materially deteriorated since December. The measures presented exceeded expectations, but the decision failed to convince markets.
The European Central Bank (ECB) have very much taken the ‘kitchen sink’ approach, surprising market expectations in a variety of ways, not least an expansion of the asset purchase programme to include corporate bonds and opening the door to paying banks to borrow via the longer‑term refinancing operations (LTROs). They hope that the measures announced will ease financial conditions and stimulate new credit creation, leading to stronger growth and a return of inflation to target.
Following a 25% increase in China bankruptcies in 2015, insolvencies will increase 20% in 2016, predicts Euler Hermes. This has implications not only for the "Red Dragon" itself but also for its trading partners. Industrial countries have a relatively robust immune system compared to many emerging markets.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand took the market by surprise and cut its official cash rate by 25bps to 2.25%. Governor Wheeler argued that the deteriorating outlook for global growth, and more specifically the uncertainty surrounding China’s economic prospect, justifies this surprise easing move from the central bank.
The bears performed strongly until the beginning of US session on Wednesday when EUR/USD managed to erode losses and bounce back to 1.10. In the morning on Thursday we see another round of selling pressure, but movements remain quite hesitant. It is all about the ECB meeting today. In December EUR/USD had spiked on disappointment. Bearish outcome of the gathering may send the pair well down to 1.08, in move that is estimated by daily technical indicators. However, the bulls will try to catch the first monthly resistance at 1.1227 in case there is dissatisfaction with the ECB's policy.
The jump in gold ETF holdings during early 2016 has been widely publicised, with the ytd total over 260t, or 18%, higher compared with end-2015 levels. Retail buying of coins and bars has also improved, but less dramatically. Below, we draw on our latest field research, highlighting key trends, for both gold and silver, in particular the strength of consumer price expectations and what this may suggest for retail demand over the rest of 2016.
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