Gold rises Friday and set for weekly gain as investors await President Trump statement on China
“Gold futures headed higher for a second session Friday, putting gold prices on track for a modest weekly gain amid focus on U.S.-China tensions and global monetary stimulus measures.
President Donald Trump said that he was preparing to hold a Friday news conference on China but hasn’t set a specific time. His planned remarks would come after the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K. governments issued a joint statement Thursday reiterating their “deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong,” after China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress passed legislation Thursday that could greatly curtail democratic freedoms.
Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at ThinkMarkets, said that “the rising US-China rift, which has deepened over moves by Beijing to impose a security law on Hong Kong, has further boosted the appeal of the haven metal,” in a Friday research note.”
U.S. April personal spending falls while income rises; core inflation minus 0.4%; gold higher
“Gold remained higher early Friday after a report showed that personal spending by Americans fell by 13.6% in April, while income rose 10.5% and core inflation declined 0.4%. Spot gold was last up $11 to $1,730 an ounce.
Ahead of time, most consensus forecasts compiled by news organizations called for spending to be 12.6% to 13% lower, while income was expected to fall by somewhere between 2.1% and 6.5%. The core inflation rate was seen down 0.3%
“The increase in personal income in April primarily reflected an increase in government social benefits to persons as payments were made to individuals from federal economic recovery programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.”
BLOOMBERG/ Elena Mazneva and Jack Farchy
Virus Has Sparked Round-the-Clock Rush to Fill U.S. Gold Vaults
“The scramble to jump on one of the hottest gold trades in years — by shipping bullion to New York — has sparked what may be one of the largest ever physical transfers of the metal.
“The flows into New York are unprecedented,” said Allan Finn, global commodities director at logistics and security provider Malca-Amit. His company’s teams in New York have been working 24 hours a day to cope with demand while navigating lockdowns, flight disruptions and social distancing.
Gold flooded into the U.S. in recent months as traders rushed to profit from an arbitrage caused by dislocations in the market triggered by the pandemic. Since late March, some 550 tons of gold — worth $30 billion at today’s price and roughly equal to global mine output in the period — have been added to Comex warehouse stockpiles. Hundreds of tons of that was imported.”
Trump’s China press conference could mark the end of his cautious approach to Beijing
“For weeks, the Trump administration has been ratcheting up pressure on Beijing over its alleged cover-up of early coronavirus cases, and Trump has publicly blamed China both for the virus itself and for its outsized severity in the United States.
Beijing, in turn, has suggested the virus originated in U.S. service members, a claim widely refuted by international health experts. The four-week moving average for new claims – normally viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smooths out week-to-week volatility – fell by 436,000 to 2.61 million.
In the past week, however, the pressure from the United States has taken a more serious turn in response to a proposed Chinese security law that threatens the long-standing independence of Hong Kong. The law was formally approved Thursday by China’s People’s Congress, and it is expected to criminalize most forms of political protest under blanket bans on “sedition” and “subversion.””