Gold and the US dollar in for a fight

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Financial and commodity markets analytics

After reaching a high of $1,366 last Thursday, the price of gold has slumped $20 as the US dollar makes a comeback while this week’s round of data from America looks to drive the gold price moving forward.

The action begins on Thursday with the release of the latest interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve followed by a monetary press conference.

No changes in rates are expected and rates are expected to remain on hold at 1.5 percent but the following statement will closely followed by investors for signs of the next rate hike with most analysts currently penciling in a rate rise in March.

Although a March rate hike is largely factored into the market, any talk by the Fed of any further rate rises after this date is likely to hurt the gold price as traders move out of the precious metal and into the US dollar as an interest bearing investment.

Gold is only attractive as a capital gain investment, as it delivers no interest payments to the investor.

Friday’s release of the Non-farm payrolls figure from the US is expected to hit the market at 175k which is well up from last month’s figure while the unemployment rate is set to remain stable at 4.1 percent.

 If the numbers come in on consensus, it will once again show that the US jobs market is powering ahead and give more than enough reason for the Fed to act aggressively towards raising interest rates

"On Friday, U.S. jobs data should confirm the strong picture for the U.S. economy, which speaks in favor of rate rises and a strong dollar, so in the short term gold is under pressure," said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler.

So although gold has had a great start to the year, the US dollar may be poised to temporarily put an end to that as the world’s most popular currency once again becomes the darling of investors.

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