Gold spikes as as ‘epic’ miss in April jobs report eases worries about a Fed rate hike

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Gold prices picked up Friday.

  • Gold prices climbed to their highest since early February on Friday following the April US jobs report.
  • The gain of 266,000 jobs was well below expectations of 1 million jobs being added to payrolls.
  • The data miss pushed Treasury yields lower, make gold more attractive to buy.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Gold prices jumped Friday after the weak US monthly jobs report tamped down expectations of an interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve, making the metal more attractive to investors looking to buy.

Gold jumped as much as 1.5% to $1,842.59, the highest price since February 10. The surge was set off after the Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by 266,000 last month, well below the estimated gain of 1 million from a Bloomberg survey of economists. Payrolls increased for a fourth consecutive month but the print was the smallest since September.

The poor jobs showing sparked questions about the strength of the US economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and supported the view that the Federal Reserve will keep holding its benchmark interest rates near zero.

“You’re going to see that the labor-market recovery is likely to take a lot longer than anyone was anticipating and that will push off some people’s rate-hike expectations a little bit and that’s positive for gold,” Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, told Insider.

Investors swooped into the bond market after the data, driving yields lower. The 10-year Treasury yield sank to an intraday low of 1.4710% from 1.5610% on Thursday. Lower rates can brighten the appeal of gold as the metal offers no yield.

“This jobs print was a miss of epic proportions and yields reacted with a pretty sharp decline,” Sean Bandazian, an investment analyst at Cornerstone Wealth, told Insider, noting that what has moved gold historically is the level of real interest rates. Real yield refers to the level of the 10-year yield rate minus the rate of inflation.

“The real rate backed down to where it was in February and gold, given its inverse correlation, almost perfectly has moved up to where it was [three months ago],” said Bandazian.

“Gold is 45% correlated with the 10-year Treasury bond. As fears of a Fed tapering recede after the weak employment report … gold is moving higher,” wrote Jay Hatfield, founder and CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors.

The 10-year yield, meanwhile, pared its loss. It’s possible that the “excessive reaction this morning” in the bond market triggered stops on the short side of the 10-year bond after the yield dropped below 1.5%, said Bandazian.

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A Reddit forum founder who got banned from Wall Street Bets says the group is ‘tired’ of talking about GameStop – and that they really were behind the silver short-squeeze

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Ivan Bayoukhi, founder of WallStreetSilver.


Ivan Bayoukhi, the founder of subreddit Wall Street Silver, told Kitco News this week Wall Street Bets users are tired of talking about GameStop, and they did in fact trigger the silver short-squeeze in January, even though they said at the time this was not the case.

But the notorious subreddit had claimed they were not the ones behind silver’s rally as they were more focused on members buying into GameStop, AMC, and other heavily shorted stocks.

“The Silver Squeeze is a hedge-fund coordinated attack so they can keep fighting the $GME fight,” one user wrote last month.

Bayoukhi, who was among users calling for betting on silver, said one can just scroll back five to six months on the WSB forum to find several silver-related posts. Some posts would even mention the Hunt Brothers who managed to push silver prices from $6 an ounce to over $50 an ounce within a year more than three decades ago, he said.

“We’ve kept track of absolutely everything,” he said. “That’s in our extras section, or the information section on Wall Streets Silver reddit. We literally have a section for Wall Streets Bets posts for silver that they’ve deleted or kept up.”

But anyone attempting to post about silver on WSB, including Bayoukhi, was banned from the community because the majority of them didn’t want focus to stray from GameStop, he said. Still, at least 30 to 40% of the WSB forum loves silver, he said. This indicates there was conflicting opinion among members of the subreddit, with some wanting to continue the GameStop short-squeeze, while others wanted to expand it to silver.

“That’s why most of their users are coming to us for silver, because they’re tired of just talking about one stock all day.”

Shortly after Reddit day traders drove up the prices of GameStop earlier this year, silver prices rocketed to their highest since 2013, driven by messages urging Reddit day traders to buy the metal and hike its price. Some members of the community claimed to not be a part of it and banned posts that mentioned silver.

Bayoukhi compared silver to fiat currencies. When asked why he likes silver, he said traditional currencies aren’t backed by anything and 99% of them have failed historically. On the other hand, silver is used in everyday life, such as in solar panels or industrial goods, has affordability, and works as a real store of value and hedge against inflation, he said.

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Gold slumps to lowest in eight months as market ‘finally wakes’ up’ to spiking bond yields

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  • Gold hit an intraday low of $1,714 an ounce, trading at the lowest prices since early June 2020. 
  • Gold funds logged a weekly outflow of $500 million, extending a run of weekly losses. 
  • Gold is competing against higher yields and hurt by a rising dollar. 
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Gold prices Friday slumped to their lowest since mid-2020, under pressure as bond yields continued to spike while investors yanked money out of gold funds.

Gold prices fell as much as 3.4% to an intraday low of $1,714.90 an ounce on a continuous-contract basis and traded at levels not seen since early June 2020. For the week, the metal was on course to drop 3% and has lost roughly 9% so far this year.  

There were outflows of $500 million from gold funds this week, according to Bank of America in its Flow Show update Friday. Gold funds logged the biggest weekly outflow since mid-November and their 16th in the past 20 weeks, according to fund tracker EPFR on Friday.

Gold’s been suffering at the hands of higher bond yields as well as gains for the US dollar. Yields on US government bonds have raced higher this week, making gold, which offers no yield, less attractive for investors to own.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury popped above 1.6% on Thursday, a sharp move from 1.3% in less than a week. Yields have climbed as investors sell off bonds in part as they price in inflation expectations on the view that the world’s largest economy will continue recovering from the recession brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis.

Dollar-denominated gold has also been weighed by a recent increase in the greenback’s value.

“The USD is bid as FX finally wakes up to what is happening in fixed income and equities around the world,” said Brad Bechtel, global head of FX at Jefferies, in a note Friday in which he pointed out a rise in the Bloomberg Dollar Spot index. That index rose 0.6% to 1,135 during Friday’s session, moving around its highest since early February.

While gold funds saw outflows, it was a “huge week” for inflows into equity funds of $46.2 billion, the third-largest ever weekly inflow, said BofA, adding that bond funds took in $7.1 billion.

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