Gold futures are taking a breather on Monday from its tremendous rally to record highs in July. The catalyst behind the weakness is a stronger U.S Dollar that is weighing on foreign demand for the dollar-denominated precious metal. A sharp rise in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields is also weighing on gold prices after the benchmark hit a record low yield late last week.
At 13:03 GMT, December Comex gold futures are trading $1984.70, down $1.20 or -0.06%.
Dollar Jumps after Weakest Month in a Decade
The dollar is trading higher against a basket of major currencies on Monday as a squeezing-out of crowded short positions combined with safe-haven demand gave the U.S. currency some respite after its weakest monthly performance in ten years. The greenback lost more than 4% in July, its biggest monthly drop since September 2010.
Speculators’ net shorts on the U.S. Dollar have soared to their highest since August 2011 at $24.27 billion, Reuters calculations and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.
A partial squeezing out of that crowded short position may be the reason for the dollar’s rally and gold’s subsequent reversal to the downside earlier today.
Essentially, the dollar ran out of sellers. Traders could sense it because the downside movement was a bit cautious late last week. It seemed that nearly every short in the Forex market decided to cover at the same time on Friday, creating a tremendous reversal to the upside.
Treasury Yields Bounce Slightly from Last Week’s Record-Setting Drop
Probably exerting the most pressure on gold is a rise in U.S. Treasury yields after last week’s decline pushed some of the front-end rates to record lows.
Yields were pressed lower last week on the hopes of fresh fiscal stimulus from Congress, but members went home for the week-end without reaching deal. Policymakers are likely to have a deal in place this week, but it’s probably being priced into the market already.
We’re going to be keeping an eye on the U.S. Dollar, but an even closer watch of Treasury yields. Right now the dollar is going through the early phase of a short-covering rally that could lead to at least a 50% retracement of the recent sell-off. If this were to take place then gold could mirror the move with a 50% retracement of its current rally.
Traders shouldn’t fear a normal 50% to 61.8% correction in gold. In fact, they should embrace it because it would likely lead to a break back into a value area where it would become attractive to long-term investors.
The fundamentals are there for higher prices over the longer-term. However, over the short-run, I can build a case for a near-term correction.
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This article was originally posted on FX Empire