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(Kitco News) - The gold bears had their chance to take control of the market but failed, and now the bulls are in full control as both Wall Street and Main Street expect to see higher prices in the near-term as uncertainty dominates financial markets.
“The bears tried to break the market and they failed so now we get to see what this market is really made of,” said Charlie Nedoss, senior market strategist with LaSalle Futures Group.
With the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy in the rearview mirror, analysts say that global uncertainty and an escalation in the trade war between China and the U.S. will continue to drive gold higher after prices held critical support at $1,400 an ounce.
This week, 14 market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. A total of 13 voters, or 93%, called for gold to be higher. There was only one or 7%, who called for lower price and nobody in the survey saw neutral price action in the near-term.
Meanwhile, 870 respondents took part in Kitco’s online Main Street poll. A total of 540 voters, or 62%, called for gold to rise. Another 229, or 25%, predicted gold would fall. The remaining 117 voters, or 13%, saw a sideways market.
In the last survey, Main Street and Wall Street were both bullish on prices for the week now winding down. As of 12:05 pm, Comex August gold futures were trading $1,458.30 an ounce, up 2.7% for the week.
Gold prices are ending the week at a fresh six-year high, recovering from a mid-week selloff after the Federal Reserve, as expected, cut rates by 25 basis points, but signaled that it wasn’t in a hurry to continue to cut rates.
Gold started its late-week rally after President Donald Trump announced on twitter that the government was imposing a 10% tariff on $300 billion in imported Chinese goods. This is on top of the 25% tariffs already targeting $250 billion in Chinese imports.
The new salvo in the ongoing trade war is one of the biggest factors why analysts are so bullish on gold in the near-term.
“Trump does whatever he wants and doesn’t really listen to anybody,” said Afshin Nabavi, head of trading with MKS (Switzerland). “For this reason I don’t think we will see an end to the uncertainty anytime soon.”
Nabavi added that even before Trump’s tweet Thursday, gold was demonstrating resilient strength by holding support at $1,400 an ounce.
“I think $1,400 will become a very strong and important level of support for gold moving forward,” he said.
Nedoss said that gold saw a major technical move on Thursday as prices recovered from Wednesday’s selloff and ended the day at a session highs. He added that he expects the ongoing trade war to weigh on the U.S. dollar.
“I just don’t see a lot of resistance for gold,” he said. “There is a lot of fear out there and not a lot of alternatives.”
Sean Lusk, co-director of commercial hedging at Walsh Trading, said that he remains bullish on gold with a target of $1,445 in the medium term. He added that equity markets are seeing some major selling pressure and he expects some of that capital to flow into gold.
“You just can’t compete with all this uncertainty and gold thrives in this environment,” he said.
As for how to play gold, Lusk said that he liked buying November $1,500 calls and selling two November $1,560 calls.
The lone gold bear in this week’s survey was Frank McGee, precious metals dealer at Alliance Financial, who said that a lot of the news driving gold is now priced into the market.