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Market Watch: US Dollar Weakens, Gold Continues Rally

US Dollar Weakens

The US dollar weakens as Powell hints at potential rate cuts, while gold hits record highs. All eyes are on the upcoming US Non-Farm Payrolls report.

Amid anticipation surrounding the direction of US interest rates and economic indicators, the US dollar experienced a downward drift, while gold continued its rally to reach a fresh record high. As investors digested Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks and looked ahead to the forthcoming US Non-Farm Payrolls (NFPs) report, market dynamics remained in focus.

Chair Powell’s testimony before the House provided little clarity beyond reiterating the Fed’s stance on potential rate cuts later in the year, contingent upon economic data trends. His comments, indicating a likelihood of rate adjustments “if the economy evolves broadly as expected” and expectations of continued decline in inflation, left markets seeking more substantial cues. Investors anticipated Powell’s second round of testimony later in the day but did not expect it to alter the current market sentiment regarding US monetary policy significantly.

Friday’s NFP report loomed large on investors’ radars, with expectations pegging around 200k new job additions, a notable decline from the previous month’s robust figure of 353k. Concurrently, the unemployment rate was forecasted to remain steady at 3.7%. Market participants anticipated this report would significantly drive US dollar volatility and market sentiment.

Market Watch: US Dollar Weakens, Gold Continues Rally

In early European trading, the US dollar index slid lower, reflecting market sentiment post-Powell’s testimony, indicating a defensive position. Market watchers closely monitored the yield movement on the US 2-year bond, which serves as a barometer of interest rate expectations. It showed signs of easing after reaching a recent peak. The US dollar index’s position below crucial moving averages underscored its current weakness. If the sell-off persists, potential downside targets are 103.00 and 102.49.

Conversely, gold extended its rally, reaching a new all-time high. The precious metal’s surge of nearly 9% since mid-February reflected heightened investor interest amid US dollar weakness. However, an overbought reading on the Commodity Channel Index (CCI) suggested a possible consolidation phase before further upside movement.

Retail trader data from IG indicated a mixed sentiment among market participants, with a slight majority being net-short on gold. This could potentially signal divergent views on the precious metal’s future trajectory.

In summary, market focus remained on the trajectory of US monetary policy, with Powell’s testimony providing limited insights. Investors now turn their attention to Friday’s NFP report, which analysts expect will significantly influence the US dollar and gold markets.

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