Gold Price Pushes Higher Amidst US Jobless Claim and Delayed Ceasefire in Gaza

Gold was higher in the US session with weak jobs data and another peace failure in Israel.

Gold – Daily Chart

Gold – Daily Chart

The gold price has risen to $2,331 in the US session, and resistance now sits at the $2,352 level for another breakout.

Weekly initial unemployment claims in the United States were higher on Wednesday, reaching the highest level since August. First-time filings for the week ending May 4 were at 231,000, a 22,000 increase from a week earlier. Economists were expecting a rise to 210k.

The latest data follows last week’s weaker US payrolls data, and investors are now projecting less strength in the economy, which could bring forward the pace of Federal Reserve rate cuts.

Even if the Federal Reserve is slower to move, the like of the European and British central banks seem in more of a hurry to lower interest rates. The Bank of England said on Thursday it may cut its benchmark rate as early as June, with inflation “moving in the right direction”.

Gold rose on the expectation of lower interest rates but also because another round of ceasefire talks in the Middle East has faltered.

Latest news reports had an Israeli official saying: “This round of Gaza truce and hostage-release talks in Cairo has ended”. The plan now is to “press ahead with the operation in Rafah and elsewhere in the Gaza Strip”.

US President Joe Biden has said publicly for the first time that the US will withhold weapons from Israel if its forces continue with its invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza.

“I made it clear that if they go into Rafah… I’m not supplying the weapons,” Biden told CNN on Wednesday.

Gold could eventually surprise investors because exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for bullion saw their 11th straight month of declines, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Total holdings in gold ETFs slipped to 3,080 tonnes, the lowest amount for more than four years.

That means the price is being supported by institutional buying and central banks. A move to the all-time highs again could see retail investors return.

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