The escalation of geopolitical tensions, provoked by North Korea's threats against the United States, caused a sharp increase in demand for safe haven assets - yen, franc and precious metals. In recent days, North Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons against the US in the event of a military provocation. Yesterday, the media reported that the North Korean army is "carefully studying" the operational plan for a missile strike on Guam. If the plan is implemented, "the United States will be the first to experience the power of strategic weapons", the DPRK said.
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump demanded that North Korea "stop further threats" against the US, saying that the answer would be "the fire and fury that the world has not seen so far".
At the end of yesterday's trading session and with the opening of today's trading day, prices for precious metals soared. The troy ounce of gold has risen today by 7 dollars to 1267.00 dollars, silver - by 0.2 dollars to 16.60 dollars.
The investors' withdrawal from risks in connection with the increased geopolitical tension provoked also a decline in world stock indices and a rise in prices for government bonds.
As long as the situation around North Korea does not calm down, the demand for safe haven assets will continue. The dollar will also remain under pressure, despite strong data on the US labor market, published on Friday, which increases the likelihood of further interest rate increases in the US this year.
Precious metals do not bring investment income. However, in the context of increasing economic or political uncertainty, the demand for precious metals as a safe haven is growing. Under conditions of an increase in the interest rate in the US, the price of precious metals is falling, as the cost of their acquisition and storage is growing.
Today, investors will follow the publication (at 12:30 GMT) of data on labor costs and labor productivity in the US (excluding the agricultural sector) for the 2nd quarter. Positive data will support the dollar. Expected to grow by 1.2% and 0.7%, respectively.
Investors also expect the release of inflation data in the US (on Friday 12:30 GMT) to assess the pace of inflation acceleration after its recent slowdown. The growth of inflation indices can strengthen expectations regarding the increase in interest rates of the Fed, and this is a negative factor for the precious metals market. The probability of another increase in interest rates in the US this year is estimated today at about 46%, according to the CME Group.
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Support and resistance levels
Since the middle of April, the pair XAG / USD is declining in the descending channel on the daily chart. The lower boundary of the channel passes near the 14.30 mark (July lows), and the upper one - near the level of 16.80. A little higher, near the 17.00 mark, the resistance level passes (EMA200 on the daily chart). While XAG / USD is below these levels, the downward trend prevails, despite the current upward correction associated with the escalation of tensions between the US and North Korea.
In case of breakdown of the support level of 16.45 (EMA200 on 1-hour and 4-hour charts), the descending dynamics will return, and after the breakdown of the local support level of 16.12 (August lows), the pair XAG / USD will go into the downlink on the daily chart with targets of 15.60, 14.90, 14.30 (July lows), 13.65 (the minimum of the global wave of decline in the pair XAG / USD since September 2012).
Support levels: 16.45, 16.12, 15.60, 15.25, 14.90, 14.30, 13.65
Resistance levels: 16.80, 17.00
Sell Stop 16.43. Stop-Loss 16.68. Take-Profit 16.38, 16.12, 15.60, 15.25, 14.90, 14.30
Buy Stop 16.68. Stop-Loss 16.43. Take-Profit 16.80, 17.00
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