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  • Major equity indexes in US post sharp losses.
  • Risk aversion helps gold find demand on Friday.
  • US Dollar Index rebounds above 99, loses more than 1% this week.

The XAU/USD pair dropped to its lowest level since April 10th at $1,670 on Friday but staged a rebound during the American session as risk-off flows provided a boost to the safe-haven precious metal. As of writing, the pair was up 0.5% on the day at $1,695. Despite this latest recovery, the pair remains on track to close the week nearly $30 lower.

Gold capitalizes on flight-to-safety

The data published by both the IHS Markit and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Friday revealed that the business activity in the US’ manufacturing sector contracted sharply in April. Reflecting the souring market sentiment, Wall Street’s main indexes started the day deep in the negative territory and continued to push lower. At the moment, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indexes are down more than 3% on a daily basis.

On the other hand, the US Dollar Index, which slumped to a 16-day low 98.78 earlier in the day, erased its losses and was last seen posting small daily gains at 99.05. Nevertheless, the index is still losing more than 1% on a weekly basis.

In a recently-published report, “we continue to expect the appeal for precious metals to firm, as capital seeks shelter from negative real rates, but components of market structure remain worrisome,” said TD Securities analysts. “We suspect that we are in the early stages of a multi-year bull market and that, when the dust settles, investment demand will continue to flow to the yellow metal — the balance of risks remains to the upside for gold.”

Technical levels to consider