Gold prices started the week with a significant increase which then fluctuated to close the last week trading session by recording an increase of 0.68%.
The surge in gold prices at the beginning of last week was triggered by news of tensions between the US and Iran. On January 3, 2020, a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport caused the death of Iran's main general Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Soleimani is the commander of the Quds Force, and is considered the second most powerful person in Iran. After this attack, the issue of the third world war became the main topic of discussion in various social media platform.
Furthermore, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missile attacks on at least two US military bases in Iraq, namely al-Asad and Erbil air bases. The attack was a response from Iran's supreme leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei who warned that violent retaliation would be carried out by his side and was followed by US President Donald Trump who threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites loudly if Iran attacked US citizens or assets.
Until the middle of the week, gold prices continued to rally along with the increasing risk-aversion sentiment. However, tensions between the US-Iran droped after statements from Iranian officials that the attack on the US base ended retaliation against the United States and did not expect war with the US. As well as the insistence of various world leaders who are trying to de-escalate tensions to suppress the rally in gold prices.
In terms of economic indicators, some US first-tier data was also released mixed throughout the week. US Non-Farm Employment Change data for December 2019 released optimistically as well as US employment reports released below expectations also drove the volatility of gold prices over the week.
Investor Focussed on Wednesday Signing Day
Based on news released over the weekend, US and China will formally sign the phase one trade deal. The news had already move the gold price at the end of last week session, which ended the gold prices lower. After both countries formally sign the agreement the next focus will be on the phase two negotiation. For the week the risk sentiment will be the main issue for gold, whether its higher or lower effected by the signing. Will the gold price keep forming another record for the week ahead?
US Data Will be on Stage in the Week Ahead
After the USD took a hit at the last trading session last week, with non-farm payroll and average hourly earnings were released lower from market expectation, this week data will show the healthiness of US consumer sector. CPI, Retail Sales, and Consumer Sentiment data will be the major focus in the week ahead, from those data 2 out of 3 were expected to slower figures. Lower than expected will move the gold market risk sentiment, while higher than expected may cause the gold lose its shine. Will the gold price maintain its price position?