2012-11-16 08:13:02Roosevelt

Gold Retreats as Dollar Remains Underpinned

 Gold fell to a new low for the week in early New York trading on Thursday. However, the yellow metal remains well contained within last week's range.


Pressure mounted in the wake of a troubling rise in U.S. initial jobless claims back above 400,000. Claims surged 78,000 in the week ended 10-Nov to 439,000. The previous week's claims were revised higher as well to 361,000. This further sapped risk appetite, weighing on stocks and underpinning the dollar. With the dollar firm, near the ten-week highs set on Tuesday, gold finally broke short-term support and retraced a portion of last week's post-election gains.


The dollar is also getting help from a falling yen, which is being weighed by rising pressure on the BoJ to heap additional accommodations on top of the already rather extraordinary measures in place. Shinzo Abe, head Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, called on the BoJ to implement "unlimited easing" until inflation hits 2% to 3%. Mr. Abe may well end up being Japan's PM again after next months elections.


Here in the U.S., the Fed remains on the verge of offering up additional accommodations as well. Referencing the latest Fed minutes, released yesterday, Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian said in an FT op-ed today, "While the Fed is already deep in experimental mode, the minutes confirm that officials there are already considering additional measures."


El-Erian makes note of the "worrisome signal" that other policymakers (presumably Congress) are "essentially missing in action" and in fact "again playing Russian roulette with the economy." The Fed may simply feel they have no choice, but to act once again.


Also weighing on gold was a report from the World Gold Council that showed a 16% Q3 decline in demand for the yellow metal, versus record Q3 demand last year. Interestingly though, the price of gold rose 11% in Q3.


The latest pullback may be a bit of a gift, because the underlying fundamentals that have proven to be supportive to the gold market certainly haven't changed. I suspect the downside potential is limited here.