XAU/USD is at a crossroads, and US inflation is the key

XAU/USD is at a crossroads, and US inflation is the key

Gold Price found strong bids just below $1,842 and mounted a nice return to close a stormy Thursday with minor losses at $1,848. The shiny metal remained turbulent, but stayed within its usual price range of $1,850. Financial markets were dominated by risk-off flows. Investors were nonetheless concerned about global growth, especially after the European Central Bank (ECB) hinted at a 50 basis point rate hike in September to temper rising inflation expectations.

Investors were concerned that major central banks’ aggressive tightening policies to combat rising prices could push the global economy into recession. As a result, alongside continued increase in Treasury yields, safe-haven demand for the US dollar soared, sending the shining metal back into the red zone. A broad sell-off on Wall Street indices, notably in tech equities, was driven by impending growth uncertainties paired with pre-US inflation release anxiety, helping XAUUSD find a floor.

As traders prepare for the all-important US inflation report, which may provide fresh signals on the Fed’s rate rise forecast, the gold price is nursing losses below $1,850. The main event risk to finish this week, with the ECB decision out of the way, is expected to have a substantial impact on market sentiment as well as dollar valuations. In May, the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) is expected to remain unchanged at 8.3% YoY, while the core CPI is expected to fall to 5.9% YoY from 6.2 percent previously.

If the inflation report surprises markets to the upside, it might signal a faster and larger Fed rate hike, fueling a new surge in the dollar at the expense of gold. A surprising decline in the US CPI could send gold prices soaring, reigniting the debate over peak inflation and easing pressure on the Fed to act forcefully in September.