The gold market will likely take its cues this week from stocks, the dollar and further geopolitical developments. The metal finished last week under some pressure, and further selling to kick off the new trading week is a good possibility.
The potential for major U.S. tax cuts and reforms has been one of the biggest topics from Wall Street to Main Street in recent days. A 51-49 vote by the Senate has paved the way for potential action, and now it will go to the House. The notion of major tax cuts was a major running promise by the Trump campaign, and the administration appears to be getting closer to its objective.
Of course, the idea of major tax cuts and a decline in government revenues begs the question of how the government will finance such legislation. Major reforms could potentially be another issue that the Fed will need to take into account when plotting the path of interest rates. In order to keep an exploding deficit under control, the government may want to see rates remain low for the time being. Without the threat of a significant or sharp rise in rates, gold and other hard assets could possibly see smoother sailing.
And speaking of rates: The question of who may be the next Fed chief is also getting its fair share of attention these days. Although the possibility of current Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen staying on at the central bank cannot be ruled out, rumor has it that Jerome Powell is the front runner to take over when Yellen’s current term expires. Mr. Powell is seen as being more on the dovish side of the ledger, and he would likely not veer far from current Fed policy. The idea of Powell taking over sent buyers into stocks and bonds, as investors appear comfortable that he would likely stick with the current plan for slow and incremental rate hikes.
The dollar gained solid ground to finish out the week, and further steps towards a tax cut may be bullish for the greenback. Further dollar upside, along with additional stock strength, may weigh on gold prices. Gold may not fall too far, however, as the yellow metal still has numerous bullish tailwinds working in its favor.
The current geopolitical climate may still fuel a degree of risk aversion, and an improving technical backdrop may also keep buyers taking advantage of any dips in gold. If the Trump Administration is not able to implement its planned tax reforms, things could turn sour quickly for stocks and risk assets.
The risk of major, new legislation being unable to pass could keep any declines in gold limited. In addition, the equity market’s resolve at current levels could also be tested. With each new all-time high in stocks, the risk of a major reversal or sudden crash could be on the rise. Any signs of stock market trouble could be bullish for gold, and could fuel a significant rally in the metal as investors seek out alternatives.