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  • Gold picks up a safe-haven bid in a correction of Friday’s sell-off.
  • The bullish narrative remains widespread, keeping close eye on the positioning in gold.

Gold is consolidating in a bullish correction of Friday’s sell-off, up some 0.6% at the time of writing having travelled from a low of $1,575.63 to a high of $1,610.99 on the day so far. Friday’s sentiment surrounding the prospects of a coordinated effort of central bankers coming to the rescue set-off a stamped in profit-taking triggering sell-stops, resulting in the biggest daily drop in the precious metal in seven years. Gold plummeted over 5% on the day following remarks from Federal Reserve’s Chair Jerome Powell.

Central banks in focus

In his afternoon statement on Friday, Powell said the Federal Reserve is “closely monitoring” developments and stands ready to “use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy”, hinting to the markets that the Fed is poised to implement rate cuts at any point. Rumours have been circulating that there could be a coordinated effort by a communique of central bankers to lower global interest rates to quell the storms of volatility and economic damage pertaining to the coronavirus. 

We have the Reserve Bank of Australia today which will give markets a firm insight. A Bloomberg survey suggests that forecasters are almost evenly split in the chances of a 25 bps rate cut although according to the money market, it appears to be fairly certain that the RBA will cut rates and a policy decision is likely to be viewed by many investors as an taste of what could follow. 

Meanwhile, a second death from the virus in the US has amplified fears over a wider spread of the disease which buffers the appetite for gold in the New York session on Monday. News that the death rate has now tolled the 3,000 mark according to reports as the number of worldwide cases rapidly approaches the 100k number, the World Health Organisation has raised the severity of the situation. 

“We are in uncharted territory,” – Dr. Tedros Adhanom

We are in uncharted territory,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at Monday’s daily briefing in Geneva, ” the WHO will not hesitate to describe this as a pandemic if that’s what the evidence suggests.” “But we need to see this in perspective,” he added, noting that a vast majority of countries with cases have not demonstrated community-level transmission and about 90% of all confirmed cases were reported in China, mostly in a single province. The epidemics in South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan remain the WHO’s “greatest concern,” according to Tedros.

The safe-haven appeal of gold will continue to play out, and Friday’s profit-taking maks room for additional investments in the precious metal complex. “Precious metals are recovering from a meaningful pullback that has taken place as money managers sold winner to cover losers amid the equity market carnage,” analysts at TD Securities explained. 

“We caution that the bullish narrative remains widespread, with per-trader positioning still overextended and ETF holdings still printing all-time highs. It is worth keeping an eye on the ETF data this week as a reversal in holdings in the aftermath of Friday’s sell-off could continue to add pressure on gold prices in the near-term, as money managers could continue to rush for the exits.”

Gold levels