Gold's upward momentum has paused after this week's mixed performance. However, analysts remain optimistic and believe that gold will surge to new highs. Despite the current setback, unfavorable external factors continue to drive capital inflows into gold, bolstering its future ascent.
This week, gold had a mixed performance, regaining ground after a two-day decline.The anticipation of the Federal Reserve's May meeting minutes fueled the precious metal's growth. On May 24, June futures on the New York Comex exchange edged up by 0.27% to reach $1,979 per ounce.
The Fed meeting minutes revealed that most policymakers believe further interest rate hikes are unwarranted. Additionally, the FOMC economic outlook projected the economic climate will worsen, as well as tighter lending conditions. Although officials foresee a moderate recession, they expressed concern over persistently high inflation, which currently is well above the 2% target. If inflation's decline remains sluggish, additional monetary policy tightening may be necessary.
These developments, combined with a stronger US dollar, sent gold into a retreat. On the evening of May 24, June futures on the New York Comex exchange slid by 0.45% to settle at $1,965 per ounce.
Gold currently faces considerable pressure from the surging USD, which has created headwinds for the precious metal. This week, gold stepped back from its key multi-year highs of $2,063-$2,075. However, Credit Suisse analysts believe that gold will eventually break through to new record highs.
Several factors, including concerns surrounding the US debt ceiling, have hindered gold's ascent for the time being. It has temporarily retreated from its key resistance level of $2,063-$2,075, the highs it hit in 2020 and 2022. Nonetheless, this appears to be a temporary setback. According to Credit Suisse, the next support level for gold stands at $1,949. A breakout below this level could push XAU/USD down to $1892 per ounce.
However, after this correction, analysts at the bank anticipate a resurgence in gold prices, driven by declining real yields in the United States. This drop is expected to intensify by the end of 2023. In a bullish scenario, gold could rally to $2,075, signifying a breakthrough for the precious metal. This would open the way towards new highs, particularly the range between $2,330 and $2,360, as highlighted by Credit Suisse.
Currently, gold's rally has taken a breather, settling at modest levels. On May 25, the price of gold stood at $1,963, ready to surge higher. The recent decline can be attributed to the US dollar's advance. The US currency gained strength against other major currenices ahead of the release of US economic data.
Investors are closely monitoring the US GDP data, which are set to release on Thursday, May 25th. Early forecasts suggest that the US economy has grown by 1.1% in the first quarter of 2023, in line with an earlier outlook by the US Commerce Department.
The greenback upsurge has also influenced the precious metal significantly. It is worth noting that gold is sensitive to signals emanating from the Federal Reserve. The current monetary policies of the regulator, coupled with the performance of USD, have a tangible impact on the precious metal's price. Hawkish signals from the Fed lend support to the dollar, making gold more expensive for foreign buyers. Conversely, dovish comments from FOMC policymakers weigh down on the American currency, driving gold higher.
Currency strategists at Commerzbank remain convinced that gold will move higher, as mounting default risks in the US make the precious metal more attractive for investors. In the event of a default, gold would come to the forefront, emerging as the most popular safe-haven asset. The bank underscores that the Federal Reserve will have ample opportunities to reduce interest rates, offering gold a competitive edge over other safe-haven assets such as the US dollar, the Swiss franc, and the Japanese yen.
UBS and Bank of America are particularly bullish on gold, expecting it to rise up to $2,200 per ounce. UBS currency strategists believe that gold will hit that level by March 2024, whereas analysts at Bank of America expects that level to be reached by the end of 2023. A key driver behind gold's assured growth lies in its sustained high demand from central banks.
Experts argue that the rise in gold prices requires the dollar to slide down gradually. UBS forecasts suggest that over the next 6-12 months, the greenback will experience a modest decline as the Federal Reserve prepares to conclude its monetary tightening cycle. This view is shared by the Bank of America, which expects the Fed's rate hike cycle to end, as well as substantial gold purchases by central banks.
Another factor favoring a gold rally is the mounting risk of a recession in the United States. Further key interest rate hikes and a deteriorating economic situation in the world's leading economy are making an economic downturn in the US more likely.