Gold Continues Range Bound Price Action After JOLTS Jobs

Gold price continues to remain rangebound, as the USD remains uncertain, with XAU bouncing between two moving averages, which are acting as support and resistance, offering good trading opportunities. During the Asian and European sessions today, gold (XAU/USD) attracted new sellers, pushing it closer to the critical 100-day Simple Moving Average (green), which has been providing support.

Gold XAU remains without direction

As investors awaited more details on the Federal Reserve’s rate-cutting plans, the US Dollar gained momentum, exerting significant downward pressure on gold and sending it below $2,320 earlier today, prompting us to close our sell gold signal. The price briefly bounced following the JOLTS report, but the 200-day SMA (red) acted as resistance, rejecting the price and bringing it back within its previous range.

Gold Chart H4 – MAs Keeping the Price ConfinedChart XAUUSD, H4, 2024.07.02 16:49 UTC, MetaQuotes Ltd., MetaTrader 5, Demo

The US dollar initially rose following the release of the JOLTS data but subsequently lost most of its gains. Job openings in May were reported at 8.14 million, exceeding the expected 7.91 million. However, there are two important points to note: The previous month’s figure was revised downward. April’s job openings were adjusted from 8.059 million to 7.919 million, the lowest level since 2021.

The US JOLTS Job Openings Report for May 2024

  • JOLTs May job openings: 8.140M vs. 7.910M estimate.
  • Previous month revised down to 7.919M from 8.059M.
  • Vacancy rate for May: 4.9%, slightly up from 4.8% last month.
  • Quits rate unchanged at 2.2%.
  • Job openings rose by 230,000 compared to the estimate.
  • Year-over-year job openings decreased by 1.2M.
  • Specific industry changes in job openings:
    • Decreases: Accommodation and food services (-147,000), Private educational services (-34,000).
    • Increases: State and local government excluding education (+117,000), Durable goods manufacturing (+97,000), Federal government (+37,000).
  • Hires in May: 5.8M, with a hires rate of 3.6%.
  • Year-over-year hires decreased by 415,000.
  • Total separations in May: 5.4M, with a separations rate of 3.4%.
  • Quits remained at 3.5M, with a quits rate of 2.2%.
  • Layoffs and discharges in May: 1.7M, with a rate of 1.0%.
  • Other separations: 309,000.

When averaged over two months, the numbers are closer to expectations but indicate slower momentum. A significant portion of the increase was due to government positions, which rose by 179,000. This made up a large part of the 230,000 beat on consensus estimates, while private sector job openings only increased by 42,000. The manufacturing and education/health sectors showed notable growth, whereas the leisure/hospitality sector saw a decline.

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Skerdian Meta
Lead Analyst
Skerdian Meta Lead Analyst. Skerdian is a professional Forex trader and a market analyst. He has been actively engaged in market analysis for the past 11 years. Before becoming our head analyst, Skerdian served as a trader and market analyst in Saxo Bank's local branch, Aksioner. Skerdian specialized in experimenting with developing models and hands-on trading. Skerdian has a masters degree in finance and investment.
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