Spot gold continued to come under pressure in early Asian trading on Friday as risk appetite improved. The US house of representatives has passed a bill to limit President Donald trump’s power to wage war against Iran, easing fears of a further escalation in the conflict. Separately, gold continued to fall after President Donald trump’s latest statement that the US seeks peace, just falling below $1,550 an ounce. Friday evening, Beijing time, investors will usher in the non-farm payrolls report, is expected to trigger market volatility.
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday night that “we seek peace, not hostility”. That echoed comments he made in a televised speech the day before.
Mr. Trump said the previous administration had led the world towards war and we were now on the “path to peace”.
Mr. Trump added that there would be a heavy price to pay if Americans were threatened.
Trump spoke to the American people on Wednesday morning local time. In his speech, he said that no us military personnel had been injured in the January 8 Iranian missile attack on an Iraqi base and that the base itself had suffered “minimal” damage.
Mr. Trump said the Iranians appeared to be easing the situation. Mr. Trump said the US military was “prepared” for any scenario, but for now “Iran seems to be winding down”.
Mr. Trump also called on the Iranian leader at the time, saying, “we want you to have a future, a great future.” Mr. Trump said the US was ready to embrace peace with all nations seeking it.
Analysts said Mr. Trump’s recent remarks were an important message that the US might not take military action against Iran in response to a missile attack.
On the afternoon of January 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the war powers resolution with 224 votes in favor and 194 against, with 13 abstentions. The resolution, which would limit President trump’s authority to take military action against Iran, would then go to the senate.
The resolution was sponsored by representative Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan democrat. Slotkin is a former CIA intelligence analyst and an expert on Shiite militias. The bill would limit trump’s ability to make unilateral war decisions under the war powers act of 1973.
Although the passage of the bill somewhat allayed fears of a further escalation in the conflict, it still needs a vote in the republican-controlled senate and is in doubt.
The White House recently called the House vote on the war powers resolution “a mistake of direction.”
The war powers resolution passed the house of representatives and will now go to the senate. With Republicans holding a majority in the senate and generally supporting all Mr. Trump’s actions against Iran, the chances of the resolution passing the senate are virtually nil.
Last year, the U.S. senate and house of representatives also passed a war powers resolution to limit U.S. military support for the civil war in Yemen. Mr. Trump ultimately vetoed the resolution, and neither the house nor the senate had the two-thirds majority needed to override it.
On January 3, a U.S. drone strike over Iraq’s Baghdad international airport killed the commander of Iran’s Quds force, the Islamic revolutionary guard corps. House Democrats, angered by Mr. Trump’s order to assassinate Mr. Suleiman without consulting congress, have called for an end to the escalation of hostilities against Iran.
On the morning of January 8, local time, the US military in Iraq “Assad airbase” came under missile attack. The base is in western Iraq and is home to U.S. and coalition forces. Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard Corps issued a statement saying the attack on the U.S. base was revenge for the death of Suleiman Suleiman, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike.
Gold prices tumbled on Thursday, dipping as low as $1,539.78 an ounce as U.S. President Donald Trump toned down his rhetoric on Iran and offered an olive branch.
The United States has told the United Nations it stands ready to engage Iran in negotiations without preconditions, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported Thursday.
Analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note that the correction could continue if tensions in the Middle East were downgraded.
There was also upbeat news on us-china trade, which boosted risk appetite.
At the invitation of the United States, Liu he, a member of the political bureau of the communist party of China central committee, vice-premier of the state council and Chinese leader of the comprehensive economic dialogue, will lead a delegation to Washington from January 13 to 15 to sign the first phase of economic and trade agreements with the United States, said Gao Feng, spokesman of the ministry of commerce, at a regular briefing on Thursday afternoon. The two teams are in close communication on specific arrangements for the signing of the agreement.
Nonfarm attacks tonight
U.S. payrolls data for December, due at 21:30 Beijing time on Friday, is expected to spark market activity tonight.
Non-farm payrolls are now expected to have risen 162,000 in December, after a solid gain of 266,000 in November. The U.S. unemployment rate is expected to be 3.5 percent in December, the same as in November.
Investors are also looking at salary data. Average hourly wages are expected to rise 0.3 percent in December after rising 0.2 percent. Average hourly wages are expected to rise at a 3.1 percent annual rate in December, up from 3.1 percent in December.
Thursday’s better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims data, coupled with strong readings from the U.S. ISM non-manufacturing index and small non-farm payrolls, bodes well for Friday’s non-farm payrolls report.
Thus, further evidence that the US Labour market is doing well and consumer confidence is strong could undermine traders’ expectations of future fed rate cuts.
New claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to 214,000 last week from an expected 220,000, the labor department said on Thursday, revised to 222,000.
Goldman Sachs said in a report that solid U.S. employment fundamentals, combined with an expected rebound after the recent Thanksgiving holiday and winter storm season, would lead to an increase in retail sales.
Goldman Sachs expects U.S. non-farm payrolls to record 185,000 for December, with the unemployment rate at 3.5 percent. Average hourly wages are expected to rise by 0.2 percent per month, while average hourly wages are expected to rise at an annual rate of 3 percent.
Analysts said the dollar could gain further and gold could take more of a hit if U.S. non-farm payrolls data beat expectations.
On Thursday, the dollar’s gains extended to a session high of 97.57. The dollar index was trading at 97.43 in early Asian trading on Friday.