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The gold rush: XAUUSD soars past $2,430 

May 20, 2024

Key Points: 

  • Gold reaches a record high of $2,430 per ounce amid speculation of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts. 
  • Rising geopolitical tensions and strong central bank purchases bolster gold prices. 

Gold (Symbol: XAUUSD) climbed past $2,430 per ounce on Monday, marking a new record. This surge was driven by increasing speculations of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, strong central bank purchases, and rising safe-haven demand. 

"Chart displaying XAU/USD exchange rate soaring past $2,430, driven by speculations of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, strong central bank purchases, and rising safe-haven demand. The chart features moving averages (MA) and MACD indicators, showcasing the market's response to these economic factors. Image hosted by VT Markets, a forex CFDs brokerage

SEE: Gold experiencing sudden upswing on the VT Markets trading app

Potential rate cuts from the US Federal Reserve 

Last week, data showed signs of slowing US consumer inflation. Combined with stalling retail sales, this has given the Fed more leeway to initiate monetary easing. Although policymakers haven’t officially changed their hawkish stance, markets are already anticipating the first interest rate reductions this year. Lower interest rates tend to raise the appeal of non-bearing assets like gold. 

This shares some similarities with the global financial crisis in 2008. Rate cuts by the US Fed led to a surge in gold prices. Investors flocked to gold as a safe haven, pushing XAUUSD from around $800 per ounce in early 2008 to over $1,200 by the end of 2009. 

What is causing gold to rise this much?

Rising geopolitical tensions, including conflicts between Israel and Hamas and the war in Ukraine, have also boosted gold prices. Historically, gold has been a go-to asset during times of geopolitical instability. 

As with above, a similar pattern can be seen from the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, where gold surged as investors sought safety. XAUUSD rose from around $250 per ounce in 1978 to over $800 by early 1980. 

Strong buying momentum by central banks 

Strong central bank buying, particularly by China, as it seeks to reduce its dependence on the USD, further supported the trend. Central banks globally have been diversifying their reserves away from the USD, and gold has been a preferred alternative. 

What traders should pay attention to 

The market is now closely watching several Fed officials who are due to speak later in the day. Their comments could provide further direction on the US monetary policy and its impact on XAUUSD. If the Fed signals a more Dovish stance, XAUUSD could see continued upward momentum. However, any Hawkish comments could temper this rally.  

Related article: US stocks pulled back with Hawkish comments from Fed 

At the same time, while focusing on trading strategies based on technical analysis, market participants should also keep an eye on geopolitical developments, as any escalation could further drive safe-haven demand for gold. 

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