Gold jumped almost $35 an ounce, or nearly 2%, to approach the key $1,800 level on Wednesday in response to weeks of surging oil and other commodity prices.
The rally was apparently triggered by latest U.S. CPI data that proved to be another affirmation of inflation in the world’s largest economy.
After weeks of being stuck in the mid-to-lower $1,700 levels, the move helped validate to some extent the “safe-haven” and ‘inflation hedge” labels typically applied to the yellow metal, which many investors see as the last resort in times of political and financial troubles.
“A Jekyll and Hyde inflation report sent gold prices on a wild ride,” Ed Moya, analyst at OANDA, said, referring to the CPI report. “Longer lasting inflation just went from rushing interest rate hikes forward to destabilizing large parts of the global economic recovery.”
Moya noted that markets this week went from pricing in a potential December 2022 U.S. rate hike to having high confidence that September 2022 will be the so-called lift-off time for the Federal Reserve.
By 11:51 AM EDT (15:51 GMT), U.S. gold futures’ most active contract, December, was at $1,795 per ounce on New York’s Comex, up $35.70, or 2%. The session peak was $1,797.30.
The last time gold crested at $1,800 was on Sept. 15.
Wednesday’s rally came after the Labor Department reported that consumer prices in the United States rose by 5.4% in the year to September as rallying commodity markets from oil to coffee kept the pressure up on the world’s largest economy.
On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for 2021 world growth to 5.9% from a previous forecast of 6%, saying the momentum for the global economy has weakened while uncertainty has increased.
The IMF is also concerned that surging commodity prices will force central banks into tightening cycles that could trigger selloffs in global equities. Oil prices at seven-year highs of above $80 per barrel is pushing some central banks to consider raising interest rates quicker than they had previously planned.
While gold appeared to have a tentative resistance at $1,800, “that might not prove to be too difficult to breach if risk aversion runs wild”, Moya said. Investing.com