Gold Hits Fresh Record High for Easter 2024 Ahead of US Inflation Data

Gold Hits Fresh Record High for Easter 2024 Ahead of US Inflation Data

Thursday, 3/28/2024 16:21

The PRICE of GOLD went into the long Easter weekend at new record highs on Thursday, fixing above $2213 per Troy ounce at London's afternoon benchmarking auction – and gaining 8.0% in Dollar terms for the month – as the surge in global stock markets paused and new US data gave a mixed picture for the world's largest economy ahead of tomorrow's core PCE inflation figures.

Gold priced in Euros set its 7th new 3pm record in a row around €2050 per ounce – almost 8.7% higher across March 2024 – while the UK gold price in Pounds per ounce topped both Tuesday and Wednesday's new London benchmark highs at more than £1752, an 8.5% gain from the end of last month.

Today marks the first Easter of new all-time highs for the gold price since 2011 – the year that gold ended its global financial crisis bull market, peaking at $1895 in the September.

Chart of 3pm London gold benchmark price in US$/oz. Source: LBMA


"A rising gold price suggests the market expects further falls in inflation should support central bank moves to cut rates later this year," says Australasian bank ANZ, looking ahead to tomorrow's US PCE inflation data.

"More signs of cooling price pressures may reinforce expectations around the Fed cutting rates," agrees a spreadbetting bookmaker's analyst, "ultimately boosting appetite for gold."

But investors left the world's 2 largest gold-backed ETF trust funds unchanged in size Wednesday, holding the giant GLD at its smallest in nearly 2 weeks with the IAU product stuck at its smallest in 4 years.

New data today revised US economic growth higher for the end of 2024, up to 3.4% annualized.

Pending home sales came in just above analyst forecasts for last month, and national consumer sentiment in March rose to its strongest since summer 2021 on the Michigan Fed's index.

But manufacturing PMI activity in the key Chicago region has this month shrunk at the worst pace since May last year, and new claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week.

China's benchmark gold price also set another fresh record on Thursday, fixing above ¥518 per gram with its 9th new all-time high in 20 sessions across March.

In contrast to the gold price, more industrially-useful silver today traded sideways around $24.70 per Troy ounce, holding 2.3% below last Thursday's 10-month high.

Tomorrow's release of core PCE inflation data in the US – the Federal Reserve's preferred measure for the cost of living – will find European and North American markets including wholesale gold bullion shut for Good Friday.

Consensus forecasts expect core PCE inflation to read 2.8% for February, unchanged from January's near 3-year low.

"When you title a speech 'There's Still No Rush', you have a point to make," says investment analyst Peter Boockvar, reviewing yesterday's comments about not wanting to cut interest rates yet from Fed governor Christopher Waller.

Despite this week's 'dot plot' forecasts from the US central bank predicting 3 rate cuts before the end of 2024, "Waller joins voting member Raphael Bostic in wanting to wait – and only likely expecting 1-2 cuts this year."

The US stock market traded little changed Thursday from yesterday's new all-time high, heading for its 2nd consecutive double-digit quarterly gain – something not seen since 2011.


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