ISLAMABAD: Gold price witnessed its highest weekly close since November 2020 last week as geopolitical concerns centring on Russia have revived yellow metal’s demand as a safe haven.
Gold futures closed the week on a bullish note in the international market at $1,972.90 per ounce, gaining $83.90 (+4.44 percent) on a week-on-week basis amid risk sentiment, as Russia is showing no intention of de-escalating the conflict with Ukraine unless meeting its targets.
Reports of Russia attacking the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine triggered a bout of flight to safety and provided another boost to the yellow metal on the last working day of the week. However, any diplomatic development to cool down the war through table talks between Russia and Ukraine may increase appetite for riskier assets and will surely be detrimental for the safe-haven gold. The market action has always shown that gold is the go-to safe-haven asset but it’s also the one that’s being sold first when the mood improves.
The price of 10 grams of 24-carat yellow metal in Pakistan, meanwhile, increased by 6.58 percent (+Rs7,000) to Rs113,400 from Rs106,400 during the last week. The Pakistani rupee depreciated 0.22 percent against the US dollar last week, which also impacted local gold prices negatively.
Geopolitics is likely to remain the primary market driver next week too, as investors will remain focused on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and the risk perception is likely to continue to impact gold’s market valuation. Gold rallied wildly throughout the week amid risk perception and closed near its highest level since September 2020, which is $1,974 per ounce. All this is happening at a time when the US dollar’s strength is at a multi-year high as the US Federal Reserve has hinted at the possibility of a 50 basis points rate hike in the current month. Another leg higher in the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yields can limit the yellow metal’s gains.
The European Central Bank (ECB) will announce its policy decisions on Wednesday and could adopt a dovish stance amid heightened concerns over the potential negative impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the Eurozone’s economic outlook. In that case, gold is likely to remain attractive. The yellow metal may continue to find demand unless investors see convincing signs of a de-escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
From a technical perspective, gold’s near-term outlook is still bullish. The ascending trend line coming from early February stays intact, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicator on the daily chart sits above 70 and the price holds way above the 20-day, 50-day, 100-day and 200-day SMAs. However, the RSI above 70 also indicates that gold may face correction and price may move sideways before taking any upward and downward slide.
On the upside, the first resistance awaits at $1,975, which is the February 24, 2022 high. If buyers manage to cross this resistance, the next static level at $2,000 could be seen as the next hurdles.
On the flip side, the initial support level is located at $1,950 and if gold makes a daily close below this level, it could extend its downward slide towards $1,920.