Gold is about to suffer its worst week in nearly three years after progress in the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. sent miners’ shares sinking.
Gold fell $30 an ounce Thursday and has dipped 3.7% this week, which is the most since 2016, as China and the U.S. said they were close to completing “Phase One” of a new trade deal in which some tariffs will likely be rolled back. Silver also lost nearly 8% of its value this week as well.
JPMorgan & Chase and Citigroup strategists both rolled back their bets on gold.
“Signs of a cyclical recovery, easing geopolitical tensions, synchronized monetary easing, and defensive investor positioning across asset classes” prompted JPMorgan’s strategists to change their positions, they wrote in a note to clients Thursday.
Citigroup, however, said it isn’t betting on a trade war solution just yet and said there is still elevated risk of recession in the second half of 2020, and they maintained their long position on Treasurys.
Trade war frictions, Federal Reserve interest rate cuts and more demand had sent gold prices upward this year, but a trade detente between China and the Trump administration, along with the Fed indicating it will likely pause its interest rate cuts, have all contributed to this week’s decline.
“The dollar appears to be in an uptrend pattern after a month of sideways action and fresh weakness on the charts early today suggests the bear case in gold is still unfolding,” according to a Hightower Report, per Bloomberg.
“If only a small amount of positions is closed, gold prices are back at $1,400,” ABN Amro Bank NV strategist Georgette Boele said, also noting that a wave of profit taking could result in an overall “bearish vibe” for gold.
Ultimately, if the trade war continues to deescalate, gold will continue to sink as the world economic outlook brightens.
“The principal driver behind the weakness in gold has been increasing optimism about the trade outlook,” National Australia Bank Ltd. economist John Sharma said in an email to Bloomberg. “However, it should be remembered that the trade deal is not done and dusted.”