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Gold, tech extend gains as dollar slides

Hong Kong: Gold prices approached the $2,000 mark as investors de-risked their portfolios and piled into the yellow metal as the US Federal Reserve is expected to signal a higher tolerance for inflation at its two day meeting starting later in the day.

“The collapse in real yields has been the link between easy policy and gold. As central banks inject liquidity, real rates decline and the opportunity cost of holding gold recedes,” said Mathieu Savary, analyst at BCA Research.

He said that even if nominal yields were flat or slightly up, inflation expectations continue to rise and real yields to fall and that at a point central banks will not want to add to the stock of liquidity. 

“At this point, real interest rates will stop their decline and gold prices will likely suffer, especially as the yellow metal trades above its fair value based on real interest rates and inflation breakeven rates.”

Gold is expected to remain well bid until Treasury yields start taking off from their 0.6% readings, he said.

Gold struck a high of $1,981 per ounce and is currently trading around $1,931 per ounce.

The US dollar tumbled and against a basket of currencies it fell below the support line of 94 to trade at 93.77.

“Overall, potential developments are still stacked against the USD at this juncture. The risk is that everyone is on the same side of the boat now, and that generally risks some snapback ahead,” said Terence Wu, strategist with OCBC. 

“But for now, calling a bottom in the broad USD is still akin to catching a falling knife, and we are hard-pressed to find significant support levels on the DXY index until 92.00 area.”

Investors await the approval of a $1 trillion stimulus package amid a renewed increase in Covid-19 cases around the world. The bill is expected to be intensely debated and its passage is seen long drawn out.

“US lawmakers are far apart on the second stimulus package even whilst the jobless benefits expire this Friday; a compromise before the start of the summer recess on 7 August is not assured,” said DBS strategists Philip Wee and Eugene Leow, who also think the technical indicators have turned negative against the DXY and positive against its components and commodity currencies.

Overall, Asian stocks ended on a nervous note off morning highs with Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipping 0.26% and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 retreating 0.39%. But investors’ support for the tech sector boosted the Hang Seng Tech Index which rose 3.51% and helped the broader Hang Seng index that traded up 0.69%. Mainland China’s CSI 300 benchmark leapt 0.88%.

Tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google are due to report quarterly earnings this week. 

Credit markets traded up with primary issuances from Jiangsu Zhongnan Construction ,  Country Garden , China Construction Bank and CSC Financial  in the market. The Asia IG index tightened marginally at 74/75 bps with sovereign CDS moving in by 1-3 bps. 

Also on Asia Times Financial

PBoC firepower, foreign interest boost China bonds outlook

 US-China friction to grow no matter who runs White House

China to shut out the ‘zombies’ and aid promising firms

Tesla hiring in Shanghai as production ramps up

Gold hits new record, equities up on US stimulus hope

PBoC injects 70bn yuan into banking system

Foreign Exchange:.

Gold pauses … as it awaits more signals of doom?

Asia Stocks

· Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.26%

· Australia’s S&P ASX 200 retreated 0.39% 

· Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.69%

· China’s CSI300 advanced 0.88%

· The MSCI Asia Pacific index edged down 0.37%.

Stock of the day 

Tencent stock rose 4.52% and topped the volumes at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange becoming the world’s most valuable social media platform edging past Facebook. It is now the world’s seventh most valuable company.

Umesh Desai

Umesh Desai is the Executive Editor at Asia Financial. Prior to this he spent over two decades with Reuters News as Asia Pacific Chief Correspondent in Hong Kong and Bureau Chief in Bombay. Before becoming a journalist Umesh was a credit ratings analyst with Moody's arm in India - ICRA. A chartered accountant by training, Umesh began his career as an equity analyst. His Twitter handle is @umesh_desai

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