• Gold prices[1] menace key support as Fed hearings loom ahead
  • US Dollar[2] back on offence after White House U-turn on ZTE
  • Crude oil price chart hits at top, API inventory flow data due

Gold prices fell as the US Dollar returned to the offensive Monday, rebounding after a corrective pullback as expected[3]. Traders were probably looking for an excuse to even out exposure following three days of downward retracement before Fed nominees Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman sit for Senate confirmation hearings[4] tomorrow.

The nominal trigger for the greenback’s intraday recovery came from the White House. President Trump signaled Chinese telecom equipment giant ZTE might be allowed back resume doing business in the US after being banned last month. The sentiment was echoed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Markets seemingly interpreted the sudden about-face as hinting that a US/China trade war might be avoided after all.

Crude oil prices edged up despite EIA drilling productivity data pointing to added US output. OPEC reported impressively strong compliance of 166 percent with coordinated supply cuts in its monthly report even as shipments from Iran are due to be crimped by re-imposed sanctions after the US pulled out of a multilateral nuclear disarmament deal with the county.


Looking ahead, comments from Mr Clarida and Ms Bowman are likely to overshadow April’s US retail sales report as the main catalyst driving Fed policy speculation. If they appear to endorse the seemingly more hawkish consensus building on the rate-setting FOMC[5]

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