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  • Gold prices reversed a brief sell-off to under the $1720 mark back to close to $1740.
  • The driver of the early drop was technicals, whilst the driver of the recovery was a fall in bond yields.

Spot gold (XAU/USD) prices saw some selling pressure in the early part of Monday’s session, dropping all the way from the $1740s to under $1730. The selling pressure appeared to come from technical factors, amid an even larger sell-off in silver markets as the latter broke below key areas of support. But over the past few hours, gold has recovered from lows and currently trades in close to $1740 again. The precious metal closed Monday trade with only modest losses of about 0.4% or just over $6, much better than the north of 1.0% losses the precious metal was facing when at lows earlier in the session.

Driving the day

As noted, the early sell-off in gold markets was technically driven, but the recovery was primarily driven as a result of downside in US government bond yields; for reference, 10-year yields dropped roughly 4bps to under 1.70%, while the drop was even sharper in longer-term bonds, with 30-year yields down over 5bps to under 2.40%. There was no particular fundamental driver of the move. Rather, after a period where bond prices have been relentlessly hammered in recent days and weeks, it appears as though those betting on lower bond prices (higher yields) took the opportunity to take some profit.

The coming week

That makes sense ahead of the raft of US economic events incoming later this week. For reference; Tuesday will be a busy one for Fed speak; Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at 16:00GMT on the first day of his testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services. He will be testifying again on Wednesday but will likely repeat his remarks from the first day. Powell is likely to stick to his usual dovish script in the Q&A section of the testimony. The pre-released remarks, which came out recently, contained no new info; he notes that the economic recovery is far from complete, though the situation is getting better and economic indicators are improving. Fed members Joh Williams, Lael Brainard, Raphael Bostic, Thomas Barkin and James Bullard.

Wednesday sees the release of February Durable Goods Order and preliminary Markit PMIs for the month of March, as well as (as noted) further testimony from Fed Chair Powell and more remarks from John Williams. Thursday sees the release of the usual weekly jobless claims numbers, further remarks from Fed Williams and also remarks from Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida. Finally, the main event in the US on Friday is the release of February Core PCE inflation data.

The main driver of gold and silver is likely to remain bond markets for the rest of the week, though what happens with the US dollar is also going to be worth watching (though USD is likely to be positively correlated to bond yields).