Gold up 1% on Week, Still Below Key $1,800 Level By

By Barani Krishnan – Gold finished with a weekly gain of 1%, after the meltdown that took it to sub-$1,700 levels.

But the recovery was far from the fabled likes of a phoenix rising from its ashes. As the dust settled on Friday’s trade, longs in the market were still short of recapturing the key $1,800 level that would be prerequisite to the yellow metal regaining some bullish shine.

Gold’s on New York’s Comex settled the day up $26.40, or 1.5%, at $1,778.20 an ounce.

It was a comeback of sorts for the benchmark gold futures contract that just on Monday settled at its lowest since March 31, at $1,726.50. Also, prior to the start of this week’s U.S. session, the front-month contract plunged to $1,672.80 in Asian trading in what has largely been characterized as a “flash-crash”.

Analysts acknowledged the rebound but noted that gold was stuck now in a $1,740-$1,760 range since and said it needed to do more to return to a bullish track.

“If it can break above here, it would be quite the turnaround but I’m not convinced (that) would be sustainable,” said Craig Erlam, analyst at New York’s OANDA.

Erlam also said there could be fresh trouble for gold longs as the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium neared, saying: “I’d be surprised to see any significant gains ahead of the event.”

The Jackson Hole gathering in Wyoming is an annual retreat for the Fed to examine key strategies for U.S. monetary policy. There is high speculation that this year’s event, scheduled between Aug 26 and 28, will discuss the tapering of the $120 billion in monthly stimulus that the central bank has been providing the economy since the Covid outbreak of March 2020.

Speculation about a stimulus taper has heightened since last week’s upbeat U.S.  for July that sent the and U.S. rallying, crushing gold.

Since January, gold has been on a tough ride that began in August last year — when it came off record highs above $2,000 and meandered for a few months before stumbling into a systemic decay from November, when the first breakthroughs in Covid vaccine efficiencies were announced.

After initially bottoming out at under $1,675, gold appeared to break its dark spell with a bounce back to $1,905 in May. From there, it saw renewed short-selling that took it back and forth between $1,700 and $1,800 for a while before last week’s move toward $1,600.

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