Gold is unchanged in the Tuesday session, after starting the week with considerable losses. In the North American session, the spot price for an ounce of gold is $1327.47, up 0.07%. On the release front, JOLTS Job Openings improved to 6.17 million, easily beating the forecast of 5.96 million. On Wednesday, the US will publish PPI, which is expected to improve to 0.3%.
As one of the most popular safe-haven assets, gold prices have moved higher in recent weeks, as tensions have ratcheted upwards over North Korea’s nuclear program. The country has launched missiles over Japan and tested a hydrogen bomb, which has send nervous investors flocking to gold as risk appetite as waned. The markets were prepared for more fireworks over the weekend, as North Korea celebrated its independence day, raising fears that Pyongyang would use the occasion to flex some muscle and test a nuclear bomb or missile. Last year, the country celebrated its anniversary by exploding its fifth nuclear test. With the crisis appearing to ease, stock markets are up and gold prices are down this week, as investors have regained their appetite for risk.
The US economy has generally looked positive in the second quarter of 2017. Preliminary GDP came in at a sizzling 3.0%, and the labor market remains close to capacity. Still, the Achilles heel of the economy remains stubbornly low inflation levels. Wage pressure has been limited, despite the fact that many businesses cannot fill job openings. Weak inflation has hampered the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates a third time this year, and the odds of a December hike have dipped to just 31%, as the markets are increasingly doubtful that the Fed will make a move before next year. Will the inflation picture improve? We could see better numbers this week for August inflation – PPI is expected to improve to 0.3% on Tuesday, and the same gain is forecast for CPI on Wednesday. Both estimates are higher than the July readings.