Gold prices started lower on Friday as investors have been eyeing riskier investments lately. The second half of the week saw rallies in the stock market, with the NASDAQ and S&P getting back near their highs from July. The dip in the market tempted investors and they left their safe-haven investments, like gold and silver, for the allure of riskier equities.
Gold had been bolstered recently by the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine, but those tensions seemed to have eased of late, with Russian President Vladimir Putin stating that war is not imminent. However, today Ukraine announced that it destroyed part of convoy of Russian armored vehicles that were supposedly carrying aid supplies. This is a huge escalation that could very lead to a jump in gold prices very soon.
Kitco News is reporting that the recent strength of the U.S. dollar index is also a “bearish underlying factor for the precious metals market.” Since precious metals are typically priced in U.S. dollars, any increase in the value of the dollar makes it more expensive to purchase gold and silver with other currencies, leading to a drop in value.
Next week is the annual meeting of Federal Reserve officials in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Investors will eagerly be awaiting the news that comes out of this meeting and any sign of the Fed taking a positive view of the economy could hurt gold prices. According to Kitco, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak at the meeting.
At some point today, some important U.S. economic data will be released. This includes the producer price index, the Empire State manufacturing survey, Treasury international capital data, industrial production and capacity utilization, and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey. Positive economic data would be a bearish sign for the yellow metal.
Gold investors will be closely watching the situation in Ukraine while awaiting the economic news that is coming out in the next week. Whether the geopolitical tensions will trump any positive economic news remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, gold prices will remain quite volatile for the foreseeable future.
At the time of this article, gold was trading at $1,304 per ounce.