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  • US Dollar Index extends slide below 98 on Friday.
  • Annual core inflation in US ticked up to 1.6% in December. 
  • 10-year US Treasury bond yield drops nearly 2%.

After closing the previous day with small losses near $1,570, the XAU/USD pair edged higher on Friday and remains on track to register its highest monthly-close since April 2013. As of writing, the pair was up 0.45% on the day at $1,581. In January, the troy ounce of the precious metal gained more than $60.

Safe-haven assets continue to find demand

Gold seems to be capitalizing on risk-off flows on Friday as investors seek refuge ahead of the weekend. The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in China reached nearly 10K as of Friday and there are no convincing developments that the outbreak will be contained anytime soon.

In fact, the mayor of Wuhan, the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak, Zhou Xianwang, noted on Friday that the containment of the virus outbreak was “still severe and complex.”

Reflecting the risk-averse environment, Wall Street’s main indexes started the day in the negative territory and the 10-year US Treasury bond yield is down nearly 2% on the day.

Although the data published by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that the annual core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index came in at 1.6% to match analysts’ estimates, it remained below the Fed’s target level of 2%. The US Dollar Index ignored the data and continues to push lower to allow the pair to cling to its daily gains. At the moment,e index is down 0.18% on the day at 97.69.

The last data of January from the US will be the final reading of the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index.

Technical levels to watch for