Global Industrial Slump And Brexit Dance Go On. Will Gold Price Bop?

October 29, 2019

The Brexit saga continues. Both the U.S. and China’s industrial sectors suffer from the trade war. How will the Fed react to these downside risks tomorrow? The expectation is that it’ll cut rates, but will that really happen? And how will gold take to that?

Brexit Dance Goes On

Last week, we wrote about the Brexit saga, diving into the latest battles between Johnson and Parliament. But the drama has not ended yet. As we concluded one week ago, “Brexit is far from over, and British politics may surprise us again.” Indeed, Johnson wanted to call a snap general election in December to gain more leverage in the House of Commons, but the UK parliament has rejected Johnson’s proposal. For the third time. But Boris does not like losing, so he proposed today a new bill that lowers the number of MPs requires to pass the decision to hold an early election from two thirds to simple majority.

In the meantime, the EU agreed to the Brexit extension until the end of January 2020. Importantly, the EU offered a “flextension,” which means that the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal is approved by the British Parliament. Brexit is still far from concluded and snap elections could significantly change the political landscape. But one thing is sure for now, the possibility of a non-deal Brexit has been postponed until January 31, 2020 at least. This should reduce the safe-haven demand for gold, but also support the pound and euro against the U.S. dollar, gold’s nemesis.

Industrial Weakness in China and the U.S.

But let’s leave the United Kingdom, which is no longer an empire. Let’s focus on true powers: China and the U.S. China’s industrial profits dropped 5.3 percent in September, marking the deepest fall in four years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday. The decline in profits shows the trouble for the world’s second biggest economy, partly caused by the ongoing trade wars with the U.S.

But it does mean that America is booming either. On the contrary, orders for durable goods fell in September 1.1 percent. On an annual basis, orders declined 5.4 percent, the biggest yearly drop-off since the middle of 2016, as one can see in the chart below.

Chart 1: Manufacturers’ New Orders: Durable Goods as an annual % change from January 2010 to September 2019.

It doesn’t merely reflect the specific challenges of Boeing, but also a more widespread weakness in manufacturing. Both sides are losing in the trade war. Only gold can win, especially if the industrial slowdown translates into general economic downturn.

October FOMC Meeting and Gold

Now, all eyes are on the Fed. Tomorrow, the FOMC will announce its fresh monetary policy decisions. The market consensus is that the U.S. central bank will cut the Federal Funds Rate by another 25 basis points but it will introduce a more hawkish language, signaling the end of the “mid-cycle adjustment”. Indeed, the odds for a cut are more than 95 percent, according to the futures. As it seems that the gold market has already priced in an interest rate cut, it should not affect gold prices (https://www.gold-eagle.com/rate/price-of-gold/ ) substantially.

However, if Powell sounds more hawkish than expected, the yellow metal could struggle. Of course, the Fed Chair can also surprise on the dovish side, given the continuing U.S.-China trade conflict and shrinking business investment, but we think that the U.S. central bank would like to signal a pause after the third cut in interest rates this year. After all, the Fed hiked the federal funds rate four times in 2018, so it may not want to dial them back so quickly! But we will see – on Thursday, we will cover the FOMC announcement for you, stay tuned!

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Disclaimer: Please note that the aim of the above analysis is to discuss the likely long-term impact of the featured phenomenon on the price of gold and this analysis does not indicate (nor does it aim to do so) whether gold is likely to move higher or lower in the short- or medium term. In order to determine the latter, many additional factors need to be considered (i.e. sentiment, chart patterns, cycles, indicators, ratios, self-similar patterns and more) and we are taking them into account (and discussing the short- and medium-term outlook) in our trading alerts.

Arkadiusz Sieron
Sunshine Profits‘ Gold News and Gold Market Overview Editor

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All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski's, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits' employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

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Arkadiusz Sieroń is the author of Sunshine Profits’ monthly gold Market Overview report, in which he keeps subscribers up-to-date regarding key fundamental developments affecting the gold market and helps them prepare for the major changes. Arkadiusz is a certified Investment Adviser, a long-time precious metals market enthusiast and a Ph.D. candidate. He is also a Laureate of the 6th International Vernon Smith Prize.  You can reach Arkadiusz at Sunshine Profits’ contact page.

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