The question of how gold may fare in the weeks ahead has become increasingly about its ability to tolerate another 75-point rate hike next week. The yellow metal has ended a five-week losing streak but still has numerous obstacles in the way of higher prices.
After the European Central Bank, or ECB, raised rates for the first time in over a decade this week, the U.S. Fed is widely expected to do the same next week. The Fed is expected to raise rates by 75 basis points, if not 100, on July 27th.
Another large rate hike from the Fed next week is seemingly a foregone conclusion. How the hike could affect the dollar and gold remains to be seen, however. After hitting a 20-year high in recent days, the dollar has backed off a bit from recent highs. Dollar weakness may be nothing more than some short-term profit taking, and the currency could easily resume its trend higher next week after the Fed raises rates.
The dollar has been moving higher based on the notion of an aggressive Fed and higher interest rates and widening rate differentials. The greenback recently hit parity with the euro for the first time in many years and could maintain its growth against the shared currency in the months ahead.
The gold bulls have their work cut out for them for sure. There was some encouraging price action this week, however, that could point to some further upside. After sliding lower earlier in the week, the gold bears took prices below the key $1700 level. Price could not be sustained there, however, and the bulls jumped in to buy and the market closed well above the $1700 level. On Friday, the bulls built on some gains seen late Thursday and have now put some distance between current prices and the $1700 area. Whether those gains hold after another large hike from the Fed is unclear.
Despite gold’s recent slide and a lack of any upside, the long-term narrative for gold remains unchanged. Massive sovereign debt, dollar weakness, and economic uncertainties may all play a role in gold’s eventual upside. Central banks and governments all over the globe hold massive amounts of physical gold, and with good reason. Gold can provide them with credibility for their respective currencies, it can provide portfolio diversification and it can also even give them peace of mind.
Taking into account the fact that the largest and most powerful financial institutions on the planet buy and hold physical gold, shouldn’t you consider doing the same? Gold at $1730 may prove to be a bargain-basement price in the months or years ahead. Current prices in gold may not only be temporary but may never be seen again once the metal takes off.
Focus on the long-term, not the short. If you see gold as a value add, then now is the time to be buying it. Don’t be alarmed by short-term volatility and price swings, either. Just focus on the metal’s long-term, bullish narrative and trend and buy what you can afford to buy.