There are no two ways about it: 2018 has been an absolutely brutal year for gold bulls. The yellow metal came into the year with some impressive momentum, rallying from around $1240 in mid-December to hit a peak above $1,360 per oz. by late January, but the proverbial “wheels have fallen off” since then.
After minor overnight volatility, U.S, European, Japanese and Hong Kong benchmarks are near unchanged but those from China are deeply in the red. The German DAX took a sweeping hit after a big miss on Factory Orders this morning but has regained positive; Euro weakness is supportive. In an editorial in its state-run newspaper to start the week, China directed sharp comments at President Trump, doubling up on calling him a bully and saying that it is in their best interest to sacrifice the short-term term economics for the larger and longer-term picture.
Dollar bulls were absent during Tuesday’s trading session as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting. Markets could offer a muted response to the meeting, especially when considering how there will be no updated economic projections or post-announcement press conference by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
It has been a rather volatile couple of days in the financial markets. Much of the volatility has been in the stock markets where the major indices rose sharply late in the day yesterday after the EU and U.S. diffused their trade disputes, only for the optimism to be met with a heavy 20% sell-off in Facebook shares in extended hours on the back of the social network’s poorly received earnings report and forward guidance.