As I predicted last week, gold prices have fallen back below $1,300. They've been below that level since last Thursday, Sept. 20, and the metal is down another 0.1% today at $1,296.
But don't expect that weakness to continue much longer. Once again, last week was all about the U.S. Federal Reserve and the dollar when it came to downward gold price movement.
Despite U.S. President Donald Trump warning during his UN speech Tuesday that he would "totally destroy" North Korea, gold prices remained mostly flat. They closed at $1,311 on both Monday and Tuesday last week.
The metal saw a 0.5% gain on Wednesday after the Fed announced plans to start shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month. It will do this by simply not renewing maturing bonds to the tune of $4 billion in mortgage securities and $6 billion in Treasury bonds each month. These amounts will ramp up each quarter to reach $20 billion and $30 billion, respectively.
The Fed also said it would keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged between 1% and 1.25%, while indicating another rate hike was still possible in December. Eleven of the sixteen officials considered a 25 basis point (0.25%) increase "appropriate" by the end of 2017.
But I expect this dollar strength to be temporary. The greenback can't maintain strength as disinflation – or the reduction in the rate of inflation – remains present and shows no signs of leaving.
That means the dollar will likely remain weak. And that implies a rebound for the price of gold through the end of the year.
Before I show you my bullish gold price targets for the end of 2017, here's a closer look at gold's 2% decline last week…
Gold Prices See Weekly Drop of 2.1% (Sept. 15-22)
After closing at $1,325 on Friday, Sept. 15, gold kicked off last week with some weakness. It opened lower at $1,313 and kept dropping throughout the day. The gold price eventually settled at $1,311 for a 1.1% loss on the day.
Tuesday's action was quieter, as the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) – which measures the dollar against other currencies like the yen and the euro – traded in a tight range between 91.90 and 92. Gold traders hardly budged ahead of the Fed's statement release the following day. The metal closed the day flat at $1,311.
Then the Fed announced Wednesday that it would unwind the balance sheet, which sent the DXY rocketing higher.
Here's how the DXY moved after the Fed's 2 p.m. statement…
As expected, this simultaneously dragged the price of gold roughly 1.4% lower in about 30 minutes…
Their movements were nearly perfect mirror images. The dollar soared as the market interpreted the Fed's statement as hawkish as quantitative tightening – or the Fed unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet – would begin in October and that another rate hike was expected by the end of 2017.
After falling to $1,296 in the wake of the announcement, the gold price managed to rebound from there to close at $1,316. That marked a rise of 0.4% on the day.
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But the metal suffered on Thursday even as the dollar fell back to 92.26 that day. The price of gold opened lower at $1,292 and traded close to that level throughout the rest of the session. It settled 1.6% lower at $1,295.
On Friday, Sept. 22, the DXY tested down to 91.81 but trended higher to 92.16 by early afternoon. That didn't impede a slight recovery from gold, which jumped 0.2% on the day to close at $1,298. Despite that gain, gold still posted a weekly loss of 2.1%.
And the gold price today (Monday, Sept. 25) is down another 0.1% and trading at $1,296.
The dollar's rebound from the two-and-a-half-year low on Sept. 8 has dominated the gold price narrative. Since that date, gold has fallen 4.1% to today's $1,296 price.
I think the dollar will continue to be the most important factor to watch for gold moving forward. Although the DXY may continue higher from here in the short term, I see it eventually falling back and giving way to a strong surge in gold prices by 2018.
Here's my bold gold price prediction for the end of the year…
Price of Gold Could Reach This Bullish Target Before 2018
About the Author
Peter Krauth is the Resource Specialist for Money Map Press and has contributed some of the most popular and highly regarded investing articles on Money Morning. Peter is headquartered in resource-rich Canada, but he travels around the world to dig up the very best profit opportunity, whether it's in gold, silver, oil, coal, or even potash.