Gold climbed in yuan terms during Asian trading on Monday as mild inflation data from China created demand for the inflation hedge. Silver and copper also edged up on Chinese economic data that seem to suggest that interest rates will stay low in many Asian countries and beyond.
Gold contracts for August delivery jumped 1.11% to $1,373.50 a troy ounce on Monday during Asian trading, though futures are now down to $1,357 as US markets are set to open in the next few hours. The Asian rally in gold prices has been attributed to recent economic data that suggests that central banks will keep monetary policies loose to spur growth following the shock outcome of the Brexit vote. It is unclear how much longer loose monetary policy can be sustained without substantial inflationary pressures going forward.
Weak consumer demand in China
Chinese economic data released over the weekend showed that domestic demand remains weak. For instance, consumer inflation measures for June remained below the official target of 3% for 2016. Gold generally benefits from economic uncertainty given that it is considered a safer store of value over the very long term. As such, more monetary easing in China and elsewhere is expected to create more demand for gold.
Because of China’s heavy reliance on export business, the economic volatility caused by Britain’s decision to exit the European Union is worrying Chinese businesses. But monetary policymakers are hoping that keeping interest rates low will help spur domestic demand to ease pressure on exporters who are feeling the heat over Brexit.
Fed’s cautious path to a rate hike
Gold also appears to be benefiting from the Fed’s expectedly cautious move on interest rates. Although the U.S. added far more jobs in June than economists had expected, most of the added jobs were for people 55 and over and should be retiring or close to it. The increase in the unemployment rate registered in the last month provides the Fed with another excise to delay an interest rate increase.
Besides gold, silver contracts for September delivery also rose, jumping 2.24% to $20.550 a pound and copper futures for September delivery increased 0.19% to $2.128 a pound.