By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com -- Gold longs seem bent on finishing the year at $1,800 an ounce or above. There could be one problem though: U.S. economic data that’s proving stronger than thought as 2022 draws to a close.
Bullish U.S. data this week on factory orders and non-manufacturing have reinvigorated talk that the Federal Reserve might turn aggressive again on rate hikes in 2023 despite expectations the central bank will slow its pace of monetary tightening for the first time in six months when it meets on Dec. 14.
But gold bulls appear determined not to let fade the market momentum of the prior two weeks that propelled them back into $1,800 territory. That move up came after the yellow metal spent some 15 weeks in either sideways trading or total meltdown mode that took it to depths of $1,600 pricing.
While the U.S. macroeconomic data for October released this week proved stronger than expected, the dollar, which is the chief beneficiary of such data and higher rates, has not spiked as yet, allowing gold longs to stay on their course.
The Dollar Index, which pits the greenback against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, dipped 0.4% on Wednesday after a climb of almost 1% in two prior sessions. It hit a near six-month low of 103.935 last week.
“This is a good environment for gold as safe-haven flows seem like…the theme of the new year,” said Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA. “Gold will like trade back and forth through the $1,800 level.”
Gold futures’ benchmark February contract settled Wednesday’s trading $2 shy of the $1,800 mark, finishing at $1,798 after gaining $15.60, or 0.9%. In post-settlement trade, it got to as high as $1,803.
The spot price of gold, which is more closely followed than futures by some traders, was at $1,787.26 an ounce by 15:50 ET (20:50 GMT).
Technically, spot gold was in a good place to target a year-end finish of $1,800 and above, SKCharting.com said in an outlook shared with Investing.com.
“Spot gold is seen consolidating below the 100-week Simple Moving Average of $1,800 and above the 5-week Exponential Moving Average of $1,760,” said SKCharting.com.
”But the bullish trend will likely remain, so long as prices hold above $1,760. Sustainability above $1,777 may be an initial signal for the resumption of an up move towards $1,800, with $1,810 and $1,825 as next immediate targets.”