Gold at 11-week high after inflation drop, crypto meltdown week

  • Commodities News
Gold at 11-week high after inflation drop, crypto meltdown week
Credit: © Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan -- The Federal Reserve and risk markets may be getting their wish, and gold bulls are joining the party — a rare threesome indeed.

Data on Thursday pointing to nine-month lows in U.S. inflation brought the Fed and Wall Street closer to the so-called rate pivot in December, spurring gold to 11-week highs as the yellow metal broke the $1,750 an ounce barrier.

U.S. gold futures’ benchmark December contract finished up $40, or 2.3%, at $1,753.70 per ounce on New York’s Comex. The session peak of $1,758.20 was the highest since Oct. 27.

The spot price of bullion , which is more closely followed than futures by some traders, was at $1,753.13 by 15:05 ET in New York (20:05 GMT).

The U.S. Consumer Price Index , or CPI, expanded by just 7.7% over a 12-month period in October, versus a growth of 8% forecast by economists and against the yearly growth of 8.2% to September. Historical data showed it to be the lowest annual reading for inflation since January.

Prior to October, both the White House and economic policy-makers at the Federal Reserve had struggled to contain inflation, with the annual reading for the CPI hitting a four-decade high of 9.1% in June.

In its bid to control inflation, the Fed has added 375 basis points to interest rates since March via six rate hikes . Prior to that, interest rates were at a peak of just 25 basis points as the central bank cut rates to nearly zero after the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The Fed, which executed four back-to-back jumbo rate hikes of 75 basis points from June through November, is contemplating a more modest 50-basis point increase in December. The latest CPI reading might enable the central bank to do that, economists said.

Aside from benefiting from the possibility of a smaller U.S. rate hike next month, gold was also probably winning some of the money that had exited cryptocurrencies over the past week as Bitcoin tumbled 25% on crypto-exchange related concerns, traders said.

“There’s no hard data to corroborate fund flows from crypto into gold now but I’d be surprised if that isn’t happening,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

“Normally, it’s the other way round as gold seldom finds love from the crypto crowd,” Streible said. “But gold looks relatively safer now than digital currencies and imagine it has gained new respect that could mean higher allocations that may have been meant for crypto.”

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