RBA Keeps Rates Unchanged, Gold Prices Pull Back From Record Highs
The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to keep its interest rates unchanged as it was largely anticipated by economists. In the meantime, gold prices hover above the $2,030 per ounce mark on Tuesday morning, on the back of US dollar weakness and interest rate discussions. It should be noted that gold prices hit a record high of $2,150 per ounce on Monday.
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RBA Interest Rate Decision
The RBA kept borrowing costs on hold in line with expectations. In the post-meeting statement, RBA’s Governor Michele Bullock said that “whether further tightening of monetary policy is required to ensure that inflation returns to target in a reasonable timeframe will depend upon the data and the evolving assessment of risks. Holding the cash rate steady at this meeting will allow time to assess the impact of the increases in interest rates on demand, inflation and the labor market.”
The RBA’s governing board noted that there are uncertainties regarding the lags in the effect of monetary policy but added that “conditions in the labor market also continued to ease gradually.” The RBA’s interest rate decision weakened the Australian dollar against the US dollar, losing 0.70% of its value on Tuesday morning.
Gold Hits Record High On Monday, Retreats On Tuesday
Gold prices rose above $2,150 on Monday as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the possibility of interest rate cuts seem to force investors to adjust their portfolios by investing in the so-called safe haven asset. Economists at BMI, a branch of Fitch Solutions, have suggested that “we believe the main factors buoying gold in 2024 will be interest rate cuts by the U.S. Fed, a weaker U.S. dollar and high levels of geopolitical tension.”
The World Gold Council suggested in a survey that seven out of ten central banks intend to increase their holding reserves in the next 6 months. Speaking to CNBC reporters, UOB analysts said that “the anticipated retreat in both the US dollar and interest rates across 2024 are key positive drivers for gold. Gold has had a Santa Claus rally and we expect that to continue until the end of this year.”
Australia GDP Q3 2023 Report
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release its GDP Q3 2023 survey on Wednesday morning. Economists expect the GDP growth rate to come in at 0.4% on a quarterly basis, matching the second quarter’s figure. On an annualised basis, market analysts expect the rate to reach 1.8%, lower than the 2.1% recorded in the previous quarter.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has paused its interest rate hikes, evaluating the economic conditions in the largest country of Oceania. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) noted last week that the RBA has likely concluded its monetary tightening policy plan while adding that headline inflation is expected to fall to target range by the end of 2025.
US ISM Services PMI Report
The Institute for Supply and Management (ISM) will publish its Services PMI data for the month of November later in the day. Market analysts suggest that the PMI will come in at 52.0, slightly above October’s reading indicating that the services sector expanded once again despite adverse conditions.
Last week, the Fed’s head Jerome Powell said that the US economy was slowing down according to the central bank’s plan, adding that the board would not hesitate to tighten its monetary policy even more if it was needed.
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